The 11th EAC Military Games and Cultural Event 2017 came to an end at Prince Louis Rwagasore National Stadium on Tuesday 5th September 2017, with an appeal by the 1st Vice President of the Republic of Burundi, H.E. Gaston Sindimwo to all the East African citizens and their governments to defend the regional integration initiatives and make use of the East African Community for peace and development.
The 1st Vice President, who was speaking on behalf of H.E. Pierre Nkurunziza, said “while each individual in each of the teams fought hard to score that extra goal, and to run the fastest race to raise the national flags, collectively our national flags constituted a single winning flag, the flag of the East African Community that symbolizes a collective unity of the people of East Africa”.
H.E. Gaston Sindimwo described the participation of the troops in sports as an engine for friendship, solidarity, co-operation and comradeship that runs the Community as one people with one destiny.
He said: ”am here, on behalf of the President of the Republic, to reiterate Burundi’s commitment to the regional integration and its readiness to defend the Community”.
The 1st Vice President implored the soldiers and civilian guests who participated in the Military Games and Cultural Event to be Burundi’s ambassadors and well-wishers within the region and beyond on peace and security situation in the country, saying “you have been here for almost two weeks and I don’t think you have experienced any insecurity”. There is peace and security in the whole country, affirmed H.E. Gaston Sindimwo to the attentive audience.
The Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs of Burundi, Hon Emmanuel Ntahomvukiye congratulated all players and organizers for making the 11th Edition of the Military Games and Cultural Event a success story and noted that through sports, soldiers have got the opportunity to interact with fellow comrades and also keep fit as Forces in the Community.
The Deputy Secretary General of the East African Community in charge of Political Federation, Mr. Charles Njoroge thanked the Republic of Burundi, the entire leadership, the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs, the Burundi National Defence Forces for the superb organization and facilitation of event.
The EAC official urged all the East African citizens, international partners and visitors to take advantage of the prevailing peaceful and secure environment in Burundi to visit or invest in the country.
“By the fact that the Republic of Burundi has successfully hosted this event is a clear indication that peace and security are prevailing in the country. Peace and security are the prerequisites of any human development in any country; therefore we commend the leadership for restoring peace and security” asserted the Deputy Secretary General.
He registered the EAC Secretariat’s appreciation to the Partner States for the effective implementation of the EAC Protocol on Cooperation in Defence Affairs, which was enabling the EAC Secretariat and Partner States to organize such sports and cultural events on rotational basis.
The EAC official announced that the Republic of Kenya will host the 12th Edition of the EAC Military Games and Cultural Event in 2019.
At the same occasion, Burundi’s Chief of National Defense Force, Lt. Gen. Prime Niyongabo, noted that the event in Bujumbura created an opportunity for enhancing regional integration and commended the Media for effectively publicizing the event to the whole region and international world.
He urged those athletes who did not win anything to go back and prepare adequately for the next edition.
Present at the occasion were also Uganda’s Minister of State for Defence and Veteran Affairs, Hon. Lt Col (Rtd) Dr. Bright Rwamirama; Burundi’s Minister in the Office of the President Responsible for EAC Affairs, Hon. Isabelle Ndahayo, and Military Attachés of the EAC Partner States and others.
The Chief of Defence Forces for Tanzania was represented by Major General Elias Nicanor Athanas, Chief of Reserve Force; Uganda was represented by the Deputy Chief of Defence Forces, Lt. General Wilson Mbadi, and Kenya Defence Force by the Airforce Commander, Major General Samuel Thuita.
In the overall, Kenya took the top position in the 11th EAC Military Games by wining 4 Gold Medals i.e. in Football, Volleyball, Netball, and Cross-country.
Tanzania took the second position having won two Gold Medals both in Basketball and Cross- country (men), silver medals in Volleyball and Netball and Bronze for cross country (women).
Uganda took the 3rd position by winning silver medal in Netball and football, bronze medal in volleyball, cross country and basketball coming second after Kenya, Tanzania in third position while the host Burundi came in fourth position. Burundi got a silver medal in Basketball.