Enhancing Peace and Security in the Eastern Africa Region

31st Ordinary Policy Organs EACDS Meeting

The Committee of the Eastern Africa Chiefs of Defence and Security (EACDS) was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 12th to 13th February, 2023, as part of the 31st Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) Policy Organs Meetings.

The Chairperson of EACDS, Field Marshal Birhanu Jula from the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, witnessed that “EASF had made significant progress over time having achieved Full Operational Capability (FOC) in 2014”. In view of the aforementioned, he acknowledged “the successful conduct of the Command Post Exercise (CPX) codenamed ‘Mashariki Salaam III’ in 2022 which continues to enhance EASF readiness in the event of a deployment”.

Field Marshal Birhanu Jula observed that “despite the progress made, multiple challenges have continued to face the continent in various forms and therefore urged the Meeting to deliberate on practical recommendations to address those challenges.” He underscored on the need “to leverage on the EASF capacities and capabilities which are required to enable it fulfil its mandate, consolidate skills and experience as well as enhance its visibility”.

“Mitigate, Prevent and Manage”

On behalf of EASF, the Director of the Secretariat, Brig Gen Getachew Shiferaw Fayisa, stated that that significant efforts have been made towards maintaining the Organizations’ viability and FOC through timely implementation of Policy Organs Decisions as well as execution of planned activities. “This meeting aims at strengthening the Region’s cooperation against common regional threats”. In order to augment these efforts, Brig Gen Getachew Shiferaw Fayisa pointed out on the need “to address gaps in the EASF Legal Frameworks which will contribute to not only strengthening the Standby Forces, but will also serve as a platform for consolidating the Region’s defense capabilities or resources to mitigate, prevent, and manage conflicts”.

The Guest of Honor, Hon. Agegnehu Teshager, the Speaker of the House of People’s representatives of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, “urged that the developed instruments at the disposal of the EASF Region, be effectively utilized to consolidate structural conflict prevention mechanisms and sustain peace where it has been achieved”. He therefore appealed for collective efforts towards addressing the challenges in the Region while also recognizing the fact that the security of one State is inextricably linked to that of the other. Hon. Agegnehu Teshager further encouraged building partnerships with other members of the International Community in order to further the Agenda and interests of the people in the EASF Region.

The Committee of EACDS recommendations will be approved by the Council of Ministers of Defence and Security on 14 February which will conclude the 31st EASF Policy Organs Meetings.

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