KAMPALA – The Minister of State for Defence and Veteran Affairs Incharge of General Duties Charles Okello Engola has officiated at the opening of the Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) Civilian Roaster Recruitment and Verification Exercise at Silver Springs Hotel in Kampala.
The exercise which is set to run from 6-10 May 2019 will see the civilian component of the EASF undertake recruitment and roaster verification of trained personnel from different sectors.
This will be for those already on the EASF roaster who will also attend the Competency Based Interviews (CBI).
After the exercise, trained experts who meet the set criteria will be included on the Standby Capacity Database for selection and deployment when need arises.
In his opening remarks, Hon Engola told participants that achieving a prosperous Africa calls for developing a multinational and multi-dimensional capability consisting of civilian, military, police and any other necessary Peace Support Operations components.
“It is important that we have right experts and well trained human resource that can contribute to our goal of preventing and acting against violent conflict on the continent and in our Eastern African Region,” said Hon Engola.
Hon.Engola also noted that much as Africa still faces significant security challenges, there is no doubt that the continent is making progress towards regional peace and continental stability as evidenced by the success registered by the AMISOM forces in Somalia.
He implored member states of the EASF to continue being vigilant and develop operational capabilities that can effectively address the root causes of conflict along with its external drivers.
The Minister, however, added that African countries are determined to defeat terrorism no matter how long it takes although the vice requires collective responsibility from all African armies.
He further noted that African problems need African solutions to ensure sustainable security on the continent, saying this will position the continent in a state of preparedness and with adequate capability to respond to the security challenges of the time.
The Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) Head of Civilian Component Steve Lalande, commended the Ugandan Government for recognizing the role played by the civilian component in any Peace Support Mission. He said civilians posture long term solutions to conflicts since they venture into the structure and root causes of conflict on top of facilitating the exit strategy of the conflict.
The National Civilian Focal Point Person EASF-Uganda Mr Nyehangane Elias Mparana mentioned that the exercise aims at building capacity for EASF to deploy in time of need.
He thanked the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs for supporting all EASF initiatives and noted that so far over one hundred (100) civilians have already been trained in different fields ranging from International Humanitarian Law, Human Resource, Media, Disaster Management, Child Protection, to Information Technology, among others.
Participants at the exercise were drawn from the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs, Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Labor and Social Development, Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, and the Private sector, among others.
EASF was founded in 2004 and is one of the Five (05) registered Standby Forces of the African Standby Forces.
It includes Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan and hosts Uganda as the Member States.
Also, the Head of the Civilian Component EASF Steve Lalande presented a souvenir to Hon Charles Engola in recognition of Uganda’s role towards building sustainable peace and stability both in the Eastern African Region and beyond.