Chiefs and directors of military intelligence from East African Community (EAC) partner states on Monday, September 20, began a two-day meeting in Kigali to review the regional security situation and consider what could be the best way to deal with common threats.
The quarterly meeting now hosted by Rwanda is chaired by Kenya.
At the onset, the guest of honour, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Jean-Bosco Kazura, expressed satisfaction for the fact that regional countries are making effort to examine and find solutions to their problems.
"We don't have to wait for some people to come from outside to tell us what to do. Our countries shall always live and this is a good opportunity to discuss and make sure that our future is bright, and for our people to live in peace and harmony," Kazura said.
Col Raphael Kibiwot Kiptoo, the EAC Defence Liaison Officer, told reporters that they are mandated to regularly share information on matters that may threaten the region, both from within and outside - including issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic and terrorism.
"Sharing information will enable our armed forces to put in place strategies to ensure there is peace and tranquillity in our region," Kiptoo said, explaining that they also consider threats likely to come from outside the region "because matters transcend borders and matters across the world may affect this region."
Their current meeting is particularly important because, he noted, terrorists worldwide have taken advantage of the Covid-19 situation to increase their activities.
Asked if they will discuss the terrorism threat in Mozambique's northernmost Province of Cabo Delgado, Kiptoo noted that the region is happy that Mozambique, Rwanda and SADC countries are already working to contain the problem.
The EAC conducts regular meetings on defence matters as stipulated in the protocol on cooperation in defence affairs.
The protocol, among others, provides for regional partner states to share intelligence for the purpose of ensuring that peace and security prevail in the region.
Brig Gen Vincent Nyakarundi, the Head of Defence Intelligence at the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) is representing the hosts at the meeting while Burundi is represented by the latter's counterpart, Col Ernest Musaba.
Kenya is represented by Brig Christopher Lutomia Imboywa, the Deputy Director of Military Intelligence, who is also chairing the meeting.
South Sudan is represented by Lt Gen Marshal Stephen Babanen, the South Sudan People's Defence Forces' Director-General of the Chieftaincy for Military Intelligence, Tanzania by Col Juma Rashid Pango, the Director for Intelligence Analysis and Processing, and Uganda by Col David Lumumba Wauyo, CMI's Director of Strategic Intelligence.