African Land Forces Summit closes in Kampala


The second biennial African Land Forces Summit has come to a close during a ceremony in Uganda’s capital Kampala. The Ugandan Peoples Defence Force, along with U.S Army Africa, hosted the conference, which brought together senior army officers from 36 African nations with their counterparts from the U.S. Army.

Initiated in 2010, the theme of this year’s summit, which ended on May 18, was “The strength of an army; for the nation and its people.” During the summit, army commanders met to solidify relationships, exchange information on topics of mutual interest and seek cooperation in addressing common security challenges.

Regional states best understand regional problems, said Ugandan People’s Defence Force General Aronda Nyakairima. He stressed the importance of this type of conference and praised the land force chiefs for their participation.
“We need strength and cooperation to secure the continent,” he said.

Part of that cooperation was learning about the issues affecting neighboring nations and educating each other. Africa’s newest nation, South Sudan, is facing complex challenges.
“Most of the military leadership here at this conference seemed to not have been aware of the crisis in South Sudan,” said South Sudan Army Director of Operations Major General James Agongo Mwut. “After the presentation, the leaders are now aware, and hopefully there will be more positive response from the other African nations.”

Mwut said this conference was a great opportunity to bring together leaders from African nations. The event presented “golden opportunities,” and he said he hopes the relationships built during the conference will continue to grow.

Major General David R. Hogg, USARAF commanding general, said this conference was successful in bringing people together.
“We learned a lot and heard a lot of good things. There’s goodness going on in Africa, and there are lots of challenges,” he said. “I think together we will work behind the scenes to assist where we are wanted or needed.”