Kenya on Saturday handed over the chairmanship of the East African Standby Forces (EASF) to Rwanda for a one-year tenure.
At a meeting held at a hotel in Nairobi, the Ministers of Defence of the EASF Member States oversaw the handing over of the leadership from Kenyan Defence Cabinet Secretary, Aden Duale to his Rwandan counterpart Juvenal Marizaminda.
The EASF is a regional organisation whose mandate is to enhance peace and security in the Eastern Africa region.
Its mandate also extends as one of the five regional multidimensional Forces of the African Standby Force (ASF) consisting of Military, Police and Civilian components.
According to the EASF, its role is to provide the capability for rapid deployment of forces to carry out preventive deployment, rapid intervention, peace support/stability operations and peace enforcement within Eastern Africa.
A photo of officers from KDF during a past operation
The Eastern Africa Standby Force launched the meeting of the Eastern Africa Chiefs of Defence and Security(EACDS) on January 25 2024.
According to the EASF, the 2-days meeting’ which concluded on January 27 main objective was to deliberate on various policy, strategic and operational matters affecting the Eastern Africa Standby Force
Speaking during the handover ceremony, CS Aden Duale urged East African countries to end the diplomatic tiffs marring the region notably the border tiff between Rwanda and Burundi, the Sudan crisis and the conflict between Somalia and Ethiopia.
“From our own internal conflicts in our various countries to the crisis in Sudan, to the emerging conflict between Somalia and Ethiopia to the closure of the border between Burundi and Rwanda, we ask all our countries and all our friends that a solution must be found,” Duale added.
He further noted that the regional defence forces faced challenges that needed all the member states needed to pay attention to.
The handover ceremony involved the transfer of the EASF and EAC flags.
EASF draws its membership from ten active Member States namely Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.
However, Comoros was not represented at the meeting.
Kenya’s Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua (left) seated next to Paul Kagame (centre) and Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni during the 60th Anniversary celebration of the Zanzibar Revolution in Zanzibar held on January 12, 2024