The Ugandan national army has extended its condolences to its Tanzanian counterparts following an attack on a UN base in the restive Democratic Republic of Congo which killed 15 Tanzanian peacekeepers.
The soldiers were all members of the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces [TPDF] participating in a peacekeeping operation in the conflict-torn eastern region of the country.
The UN base in North Kivu province came under attack by suspected Ugandan rebels on Thursday.
Five Congolese soldiers and a further 53 personnel were also injured, the UN Security Council said.
“UPDF conveys its deepest condolences to TPDF brothers and sisters following the ADF attack in Eastern DRC,” army spokesperson, Brig Richard Karemire, said in a condolence message.
“United we shall fight terrorism,” he added.
UPDF trains in Tanzania
On Thursday, EAC Armed Forces Command Post Exercise (CPX) “USHIRIKIANO IMARA” officially opened at Peace Keeping Training Center (PKTC) Kunduchi, Dar-es salaam Tanzania.
The two weeks exercise conducted by EAC Partner States has been running since 4th Dec 2017 and will end on 15th December 2017.
The CPX 2017 is aimed at practicing the EAC Partner States’ Armed Forces and other key stakeholders in the planning and conduct of an integrated mission. This encompasses; Peace Support Operations, Disaster management, Counter terrorism and Counter Piracy.
The mission is composed of Military, Police and Civilian Components so as to jointly improve capabilities of combating complex security challenges.
The chief guest Hon Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi the Minister of Defence and National Services for the United Republic of Tanzania, appreciated the opportunity accorded to him to grace the official opening of the EAC Armed Command Post Exercise “Ushirikiano Imara 2017”.
Hon Mwinyi commended the EAC Secretariat for the excellent arrangements put in place to conduct this exercise in Kunduchi.
He congratulated all the EAC partner states for their active participation during the concept development conference initial planning, and final planning conferences which enabled the exercise to take place.
“This is a vivid testimony that you have attached considerable value to this exercise and the entire integration within our community. Indeed it is such a commitment that is likely to propel us further in our endeavour,” he added.
Hon Mwinyi further appreciated the respective governments of EAC partner States for the support they have rendered towards making this 2017 exercise possible.
He implored that to ensure the community grows even stronger, there is need to commit the much needed resources from elsewhere into the exercise.
Hon Dr. Mwinyi expressed concerns over current security challenges facing partner States in the region and beyond.
He urged all participants in the exercise to exhibit utmost commitment and discipline in order for them to reap the maximum benefit to their respective governments that availed the resources.
The Deputy Secretary General (DSG) of the EAC in-charge of Political Federation Mr. Charles Njoroge, who represented Amb.Libérat Mfumukeko the Secretary General of the East African Community expressed his appreciation towards the Government and People of the United Republic of Tanzania for the warm hospitality and excellent facilities accorded to EAC Armed Forces.
Mr. Njoroge observed that the security challenges faced by the region can be addressed through such military exercises that help the EAC armies build the required capabilities.
“It must be mentioned here that the EAC Defence Forces have gone beyond exercises and are operating together in several missions like AMISOM in Somalia.
The current Chairperson of the Defence Sectoral Council in the EAC Hon Adolf Mwesige who is also Uganda’s Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs appreciated the regional Defence Forces for the good camaraderie exhibited in preparing for the exercise.
He termed it as a foundation which further strengthens the cause of the East African Community, unity, common defence, security, peace and development.
The function was also attended by Lt General Wilson Mbasu Mbadi Uganda,s Deputy Chief of Defence Forces who represented UPDF. Forty officers and men of UPDF and UPF are participating in the exercise.