Seychelles ready for peace support in Eastern Africa


 The Seychelles delegation who took part in last moth’s field exercise in Uganda

The support group, known as the Eastern African Standby Force (EASF) under the aegis of the African Union, is a multi dimensional peace support mechanism set up to provide peace support operation.

Last month an important field exercise was organised by EASF with over 1200 personnel from eastern African countries. Seychelles was represented by a contingent of seven personnel from the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces (SPDF) and civilians.

Three civilians from Seychelles held high-level posts during the 14-day mission. Mike Padayachy was the deputy head of mission, Jules Hoareau was appointed overall coordinator for the civilian cell and head for rule of law and Lucianne Sophola head of human rights.

The Ugandan Minister for Defence, Dr Crispus Kiyonga, officially opened the EASF Field Training Exercise (FTX) dubbed Mashariki Salam 2013 translated as ‘Peaceful Eastern Africa’. The official opening ceremony took place on May 19 in Jinja Gaddafi barracks in Uganda.

Dr Kiyonga said that the establishment of the EASF requires keeping in vision the three components: physical availability of the troops, political and sustainable will and financial resources as to guarantee security collectively, stability and sovereignty to African people. “As we move on, we must keep these in mind. Without security, you cannot talk of development,” he said.
He noted that if the three components are not in place and on time, “our job can be difficult”.

He stressed that physical availability of the troops, sustainable political will and financial resources are very critical.

In his remarks, the director of EASF Coordination Mechanism (EASFCOM), Major General (Rtd) Cyrille Ndayirukiye, said that EASF is a legitimate organisation established by 10 member states with the main objectives of maintaining peace and security as attributed by the African Union.

He noted that the EASF FTX Mashariki Salam 2013 is set to test EASF on its path towards full operational capability by 2015.
It is aimed at improving interoperability of its forces.

At the closing ceremony Seychelles was represented by the SPDF’s Chief of Staff Colonel Clifford Roseline and Major Vincent Luther.

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