The Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) member states have been asked to devise on sustainable plan of ending long standing conflicts on the continent which has affected progress among African regional blocs.
This call was made by General Patrick Nyamvumba, the Rwanda Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) while opening the 24th Extraordinary Meeting of the Committee of Eastern Africa Chiefs of Defense Staff in Kigali on Thursday.
Gen. Nyamvumba said that many challenges continue to lie ahead in the Eastern Africa region and the continent as a whole.
“The nature of violence is changing and evolving pretty fast, involving an array of non-state actors. We must also review our response to these changes, in order to make peace on this continent a reality,” Nyamvumba said.
He added that there is need to consolidate peace where success has been achieved, work together by deepening partnership among 10 EASF member states to make a significant contribution to this end.
However the EASF will need to devices new ways of getting funding to sustain its existing peace operations once funding from the Nordic countries closes, and collecting contribution arrears of member states.
Nordic countries have indicated a drawdown in their support beginning this year and ending in 2020 as contained in the memorandum of understanding with EASF which touches financial and technical operations support.
EASF Secretariat Director, Dr. Abdillahi Omar Bouh said that the financial situation of the standby force is in good shape although there are some outstanding arrears.
“We urge the member states to pay up these arrears and their assessed contributions for this year. We further request that our member states continue to support the organization to ensure smooth operations of activities” Dr. Bouh said.
Last year’s EASF budget contributions from member states was estimated to be at less or more than $4million, according to Bouh.
The Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) will be give their recommendations on these issues and views on post-2020 partnership with Nordic countries and this drawdown could mean a review on the areas that the Nordic countries have been supporting.
One of the key things that will be recommended is the establishment of the EASF Peace, which has so far raised $1.8million with a current monthly savings of $108,000.
Major General James Nakibus Lakara who represented the EACDS Chairperson, the CDF Uganda (Gen David Muhoozi), also retaliated need to address long standing inter-related violent conflicts and address all the policy and operational gaps that would retard progress of the force.
“We need intensive training and other capacity building initiatives to address emerging security threats, through synergy of efforts, and broad approach of resource mobilization in logistics and financial support,” Maj Gen. Lakara said.