On 18 Nov 2016, the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary in charge of East African Community, Labour and Social Protection, Hon. Phyllis Kandie officially closed the regional Field Training Exercise “USHIRIKIANO IMARA” 2016, at the Kenya School of Government, Matuga in Kwale County. The Rwanda Defence Force Chief of Defence Staff was represented at the ceremony by Maj Gen Jacques Musemakweli, Army Chief of Staff.
In her remarks, Hon. Phyllis Kandie underlined the importance of continuous military training to improve regional capacities in responding to crisis. “Our desire and hope is that the constant training will build capacity of our military forces and other key stakeholders in reacting to crisis within our region or elsewhere as coalition when need arises”, Mrs Phyllis Kandie was quoted saying.
She further noted that the Exercise’s objectives of enhancing participants capacity in jointly planning and conduct peace support operations, counter piracy, counter terrorism and disaster management have been met. “The participants are now better equipped to plan and execute such operations”, Phyllis Kandie reported.
On behalf of the EAC Secretary General, Mr Charles Njoroge Deputy SG in charge of political federation, reiterated that the Exercise conducted in line of EAC Defence Cooperation Protocol was meant to deepen and widen defence cooperation among the EAC Partner States Armed Forces and key stakeholders to plan and conduct joint tasks for mutual benefits. He further noted and appreciated that the Forces also conducted civil military cooperation activities in Exercise Area of Kwale. These include renovation of Ningawa primary school, medical outreach, drilling water borehole at Kwale Girls High School among others.
After the closing ceremony, the RDF Army Chief of Staff, Maj Gen Jacques Musemakweli met with Rwandan contingent at their military camp of Madibwani. He congratulated the contingent made of 375 personnel coming from Rwanda Defence Force, Rwanda National Police and Civilian institutions, all led by Brig Gen Aloys Muganga, for the job well-done and good conduct during the just concluded Exercise. He urged them to keep that momentum and spirit.
The just concluded two week Field Training Exercise “Ushirikiano Imara” 2016 had brought together about 2000 military, police and civilian experts from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. It is held on rotational basis in EAC Partner States. Rwanda held EAC Exercise “Ushirikiano imara” in 2011 at RDF Command and Staff College and 2012, respectively at Rwanda Military Academy Gako.