A contingent of 217 personnel including Rwanda Defence Force, Rwanda National Police and Civilians led by Brig Gen JB Ngiruwonsanga are taking part in a two-week EAC military field training exercise on counterterrorism and disaster management in Tanzania.
The Field Training Exercise (FTX) codenamed Ushirikiano Imara XI,” was officially opened today by Tanzania's Defence Minister Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi, in Tanga Province, Tanzania. Hon. Mwinyi stressed the importance of cooperation of East African militaries in maintaining peace, and security and enhancing prosperity.
“This kind of exercise will help to counter all kind of insecurity we are likely to face in the region and beyond. Joint exercises like this enable participants to share knowledge, skills that pertain to defence and security”, Dr Mwinyi said.
He commended EAC governments for facilitating their respective military contingents through initiating, coordinating and supporting the exercise.
‘’Ushirikiyano Imara’’ is a multinational peacekeeping exercise conducted every year by EAC Armed Forces on rotational basis. The total number of approximately 1,600 personnel are taking part drawn from EAC Partner States which constitute the Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) comprised of land, air and navy components and other key stakeholders.
The exercise is aimed at bringing together the military, police and civilian authorities from six EAC Partner States in planning, developing strategies and conducting activities for mitigating crisis.
After the opening ceremony, the Army Chief of Staff, Lt Gen Jacques Musemakweli, who represented Rwanda Defence Force, met the Rwandan contingent at their camp. After touring the camp, Gen Musemakweli, congratulated the contingent for a job well done, especially in their preparations and camp layout.
He urged them to uphold RDF values, ethics and keep in mind that the military is about culture, planning and execution. Statistics indicate that as of today, Rwanda has sent around 1,923 participants (this year included) for FTX since the commencement of these exercises 11 years back.