18 October 2017

Rwanda: EASF Chief Rallies for Joint Pre-Deployment Training

The visiting Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) director, Abdillahi Omar Bouh, yesterday toured Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) headquarters in Kimihurura, Kigali.

In the country since Sunday, the Djiboutian was received by the Minister for Defence, James Kabarebe, together with the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Patrick Nyamvumba.

After his courtesy call, the EASF director said his visit aimed at updating the Ministry of Defence and RDF leadership on the progress of preparations of a major regional field training exercise that will be held in Port Sudan, in Sudan.

The exercise, due next month, will combine the 10 countries comprising EASF.

"We need to have all member states jointly in training to be ready for any intervention in the region," he said.

Bouh, who will wind down his visit on October 22, replaced Amb. Ismail Chanfi, from Comoros, as head of EASF about six months ago.

EASF is a regional organisation whose mandate is to enhance peace and security in the Eastern Africa region. It is one of the five regional multidimensional Forces of the African Standby Force (ASF) consisting of military, police and civilian components.

EASF was established as a regional mechanism to provide capability for rapid deployment of forces to carry out preventive deployment, rapid intervention, peace support/stability operations and peace enforcement.

EASF member states are Burundi, Kenya, Seychelles, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Somalia, Republic of Sudan and Uganda.

Yesterday, Bouh visited Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, Gisozi, where he paid respect to the victims of 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

He was briefed on how the Genocide was planned and executed. After the visit he wrote in the visitors book that "I am really chocked by this sad history. It is so sad."

On Monday, Bouh visited Rwanda Peace Academy in Musanze District. Yesterday, he also visited Rwanda Military Academy-Gako that conducts pre-deployment training for peacekeepers.

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