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Regional standby force ‘ready’ for deployment

Kinyuru Munuhe @kinyurumunuhe

The East Africa Standby Force (EASF) has attained full deployment capability in containing conflicts and humanitarian disasters in the region, director Abdillahi Omar Bouh said yesterday.

He said the force can commit boots on the ground whenever the regional peace and security is threatened upon approval by the Peace and Security Council.

Bouh reiterated the EASF’s commitment to ensure peace and security in East Africa.

He spoke during a media briefing at EASF secretariat offices in Nairobi ahead of today’s commemoration of the International Day of Peace which coincides with the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“EASF is responsible for promoting peace and security in the East Africa Community region and enhancing stability,” said Bouh. The director said today’s events comprise a peace walk to Karen shopping centre and visits to two children’s home.

The theme of this year’s International Day of Peace is “Right to Peace.”  EASF has a force of 5,800 personnel drawn from the military, police and civilian components from the member states.

Of those, 720 are police officers, 440 civilians and the rest are drawn from the military in member states including Kenya, Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Seychelle, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.

South Sudan is on an observer status while Eritrea is yet to be readmitted after its exit following conflict with Ethiopia.

EASF head of peace operations Brigadier Albert Kendagor  said the African Union has already developed a military-civilian coordination policy to guide the force in its missions.

  

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