Defence and Security officials from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda are in a five day meeting in Kigali discussing on implementation framework for Mutual Defence Pact and Mutual Peace and Security Pact.
The meeting of experts was officially opened by the Rwanda Defence Force Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Patrick Nyamvumba who reminded the participants that security challenges that the region is facing need a collective action. “Regional countries are facing security threats ranging from FDLR, LRA, ADF NALU, Al Shabab and other terrorist groups. One can only emphasize that all these threats requires our collective action”, he said.
The CDS underlined that the defence and peace and security pacts are meant to safeguard the development of various infrastructure projects that the region is undertaking. He mentioned the railway line, the single customs territory to facilitate free movement of goods and the single tourist visa among others.
Gen Nyamvumba welcomed Burundi and South Sudan that recently joined this initiative. “Your association to this mutual defence and mutual peace and security pacts is vital as we are people with a common destiny” he said
The RDF spokesperson, Brig Gen Joseph Nzabamwita told Media that for implementation of defence and peace and security pacts two steps are needed, the ratification by respective countries now under process and putting out implementation framework.
Gen Nzabamwita told Media that the regional security is not alarming but one single terrorist attack is one too many as it scares tourists, a sector that contributes to EAC economies.
Gen Nzabamwita said that the regional countries are working together to solve their own problems and not rely on external solutions.“We want to guarantee our people that we can sort out our own problems, security inclusive” he said.
The meeting of experts will be followed by other meetings of the chiefs of defence, chiefs of police, chiefs of intelligence and chiefs of correction services and culminating into Ministerial meetings.