Enhancing Peace and Security in the Eastern Africa Region

EASF Bids Director Dr. Bouh Goodbye

The Eastern Africa Standby Force bid farewell to the outgoing Director, Dr. Abdillahi Omar Bouh, who has successfully completed his 3-year tour of duty at the apex of the its leadership at the Secretariat in Karen, Nairobi, on Tuesday 12th May 2020.

At the same time, the Standby Force welcomed the incoming Director, Brigadier General Getachew Shiferaw Feyisa from the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The change in leadership has been done in line with EASF's Staff Rotation Matrix.

During his tenure as Director, Dr. Bouh made tremendous strides in building working relationships with diverse players in the peace and security spectrum. These cooperations, which focused largely on capacity building initiatives, played a substantial role in enhancing and maintaining the Full Operational Capability (FOC) status attained by EASF in December 2014. Regular personnel trainings, acquisition of modern equipment, and rolling out of Peace Support Operations' exercises have catapulted the Standby Force into the arena of the best-equipped peace-keepers on the African continent.         

In course of the year 2017, the Government of the Kingdom of Denmark, together with the Government of the United Kingdom, teamed up and procured state of the art Command & Control Communications Information’s Systems (C2CIS) equipment for EASF’s Forward Force Headquarters (FFHQ). The equipment comprises high-end laptops, printers, data servers, voice communications' components, power generators, and wide area network tools among others.

Another remarkable footprint left by Dr. Bouh on EASF's development path was the successful roll-out, play and conclusion of the Field Training Exercise (FTX) 2017 which was conducted in the Gebeit Region of the Red Sea State in the Republic of the Sudan from 20th November to 6th December 2017. FTX 2017, code-named Mashariki Salaam II, was a multi-national and multi-dimensional exercise comprising 1029 participants from military, police, and civilian backgrounds. It aimed at testing the regional peace-keeper's ability to successfully accomplish Peace Support Operations if and when mandated to do so by the African Union.

In early 2019, the Government of the Kingdom of Denmark together with the Government of the United Kingdom, once gain procured satellite communications systems for EASF. This package would enable the establishment of strategic communication links between EASF Secretariat, Rear Force Headquarters, Logistics’ Base and Mission Area. Installation and operational training was conducted with focus on CIS Staff Members as well as a detachment of the Signal Squadron of the Kenya Defence Forces.
In 2018 and 2019, the regional peace-keeper successfully rolled out two Observers' Missions to the Union of Comoros for the National Referendum and Presidential/Gubernatorial Elections respectively.

Before the end of the first half of 2019, the African Union carried out a rigorous evaluation of EASF as a peace-keeper. These efforts focused primarily on pledged capacities in Member States, Peace Support Operations’ trainings done, equipment at EASF’s disposal, logistics and general preparedness to successfully roll out, manage and accomplish Peace Support Operations. Having passed this litmus test, EASF was placed on Continental Standby for 6 months starting from 1st July to 31st December 2019 by the African Union. This meant that the regional peace-keeper would be responsible for identifying and mitigating any conflicts on the entire continent during this period.

During his term of service, Dr. Bouh continuously engaged various partners involved in peace and security matters with the aim of building a sound financial base for EASF. These efforts saw the EASF Peace fund grow from around USD 200,000 in 2017 to more than USD 2,000,000  by April 2020. This translates into a 900% growth trajectory in a span of 3 years. Over the same period under Dr. Bouh's leadership, EASF secured funding from the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) which would boost further capacity building initiatives. On 2nd August 2019, Dr. Abdillahi Omar Bouh signed the Peace and Stabilization Engagement Document with the Ambassador of Denmark to Kenya, Somalia, Eritrea and Seychelles H.E. Mette Knudsen meant to provide financial support to EASF for the 2019 – 2020 period.

Over the 3-year period, Dr. Bouh received 3 Medals of Honor for his outstanding leadership. The first one was awarded after the successful completion of FTX 2017 in the Sudan. The second medal was bestowed upon the Director by the Prime Minister of Djibouti, His Excellency Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed in January 2018. In March 2020, Dr. Bouh received the Peace Medal from the Chairperson of the Council of Ministers for Defence and Security of the Eastern Africa region who is also the Defence Minister of the Union of Comoros, Hon. Youssoufa Mohamed Ali. Additionally, Dr. Bouh has been commended 3 times and appraised for his exemplary leadership by the Council of Ministers for Defence and Security of the Eastern Africa region.

In summary, Dr. Bouh's tenure has seen EASF metamorphose into a well trained and robust Standby Force, able and ready to execute its mandate in Peace Support Operations in the Eastern Africa region or beyond as may be required by the African Union.

Photo Gallery: EASF Bids Director Dr. Bouh Goodbye



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