Integrated East Africa needed to meet regional threats

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The senior civilian in the Kenyan defence sector called for “a peaceful, secure and integrated” East Africa to meet threats facing the region.

Speaking at the recent 32nd Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of Defence and Security of the Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF), Kenya Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale said synergies and collaboration were needed to combat, among others, transnational terrorism and extremism. These, alongside organised crime, destabilise society and undermine the “much-needed peace, security and stability” to make sustainable socio-economic development a reality.

“We need to prioritise the enhancement of our security capabilities as envisaged within the EASF framework. It is therefore incumbent on us to strengthen ties, foster collaboration and streamline our security architecture which is fundamental to success,” the Kenyan Ministry of Defence reports Duale saying.

He went on to call for the establishment of “a conducive environment that allows sufficient focus on the root causes of conflicts and promote good governance”.

The meeting themed, ‘A Capability of Choice for Peace, Security and Integration in the Eastern Africa Region,’ brought ministers of Defence and Security from EASF member states and their representatives from Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda together.

On the regional standby force, recently returned from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), EASF Director retired brigadier Paul Ngema told the Summit it “remained focussed” on implementing the strategic plan for the force. One of its aims is to achieve full operational capability making EASF ready for deployment “whenever required”.