African countries to take part in Russian military games

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Angola, Egypt and Zimbabwe will be some of the 19 countries to take part in Russia’s International Army Games this year, which will be held between 30 July and 13 August, while South Africa will send observers.

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said that the games will include ten new competitions, including those for snipers and divers. A total of 23 events will be held at 19 training areas, in addition to the Black and Caspian Seas. Some events, including artillery and sniping, will be held in Kazakhstan.

Military hardware has already started arriving from participating countries, including China, which has sent tanks, boats and armoured personnel carriers.

The first International Army Games or ‘military Olympics’ competition was held in August 2015 and attracted 2 000 participants from 17 countries, but 3 000 personnel are expected in 2016. This year 46 countries were invited to attend the events organised by the Russian Defense Ministry. Azerbaijan, Angola, Armenia, Belarus, Venezuela, Greece, Egypt, Zimbabwe, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kirgizia, China, Kuwait, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Serbia and Tajikistan will take part while 17 countries, including the United States, have declined.

Eleven states will send observers, the Russian Armed Forces said. These are Austria, Algeria, Vietnam, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Cuba, Namibia, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.

Chief of the South African Air Force, Lieutenant General Fabian Zakes Msimang, attended the International Army Games event in 2015. These ‘military Olympics’ comprised several different events, including the Aviadarts aviation competition, Tank Biathlon, Air Defence Battle, Safe Route combat engineering competition and Safe Environment competition.