Enhancing Peace and Security in the Eastern Africa Region

Friends of EASF Upholds Commitment

The ordinary meeting of the Friends of EASF took place on Wednesday 24th March, 2021 at the Villa Rosa Kempinski Hotel, in Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya.

The Eastern Africa Standby Force has many strategic partners, one being a pool of many countries regrouped under the name ‘Friends of EASF’. The aim of the meeting was to discuss pertinent issues relating to the organization and how to attract other potential countries in supporting the work of the EASF.

In his opening remarks, the Chairperson of ‘Friends of EASF’ Col. Joern Rasmussen spoke about the importance of collaborating and networking with the countries represented and also considering other potential countries in coming onboard to support the EASF. He also noted some of the challenges faced by the EASF both in terms of financial and effects of the health pandemic, Covid-19. "There is a need to further develop the force and strengthen its base so that we can really contribute to peace and stability in the Eastern region of Africa" he added. The Chairperson also talked about the new avenues where EASF can consider such as in capacity building and in supporting existing programmes such as food distribution etc.
 
On his side, while addressing the meeting, the Director of EASF, Brig. Gen. Getachew Shiferaw Fayisa highlighted the remarkable achievements and also challenges currently facing the organization. The Director talked about the EASF’s contribution in the areas of democracy and good governance through the deployment election observation missions in Seychelles and Uganda despite the challenges of the health pandemic. The Director added "Even as we enumerate the achievements we have made so far, we cannot overlook the challenges that we have encountered.  Some of the challenges include the high cost of conducting the courses, which has arisen due to the cost implications of Covid–19 protocol adherence expenses".   

After the opening ceremony, the meeting proceeded with presentations followed by deliberations. In one of the presentations by the Head of the Peace Operations Department, Brig. Gen. Henry Isoke, the highlight was on the major decisions taken from the previous Ordinary Policy Organs meeting as well as an overview of the achievements of EASF.

The Civilian Advisor, Mr. Peter Zartsdahl, pointed out the benefits that EASF can bring especially alongside existing peacekeeping missions like in the case of Somalia. He also spoke about long-term engagement of the Advisory Committee and partnership between the Nordic countries. He said, "We have been able to support the organisation both technically and financially and especially in standardizing the integrated and multinational training manuals" concluded the Civilian Advisor.  
 
The Friends of EASF meeting was attended by representatives and Defense Attachés from Turkey, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Finland, Australia, UAE, United Kingdom, Kenya, Sudan, the Czech Republic and many others countries. Also present were the Technical Advisors and EASF management staff.

 

Photo Gallery: Friends of EASF Upholds Commitment

 

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