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Eastern Africa standby force ready to tackle regions security matters

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The 5,200 troops comprise of three motorized battalion, one automatic battalion, one light infantry battalion, five formed police units of 140, over 400 individual police officers, civilians and observers and other forces.

Ambassador Chanfi Issimail (left), the Director East African Standby Force Secretariat, James Mutabazi (center) the Under Secretary Ministry of Defence in Uganda, and Brig. Gen Ahmed Sheikh Mohamed (Right) the Chairperson of the East African Standby Force after the opening of the East African Standby Force (EASF) regional 10 member States organization meeting at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala on Monday 6 March 2017. Photo by Godfrey Kimono

With over 5,200 troops, the Eastern region of African is now ready to handle any security concerns of the continent without requiring the intervention of foreign forces, Ambassador Issimail Chanfi, the director Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) director has said.

He said that the 5,200 troops comprise of three motorized battalion, one mechanized battalion, one light infantry battalion, five formed police units of 140, over 400 individual police officers, civilians and observers and other forces.

“We have a force which is tangible, visible, well trained and ready to take action. Tomorrow if we are faced with a request to deploy a force, we are ready to take up the request without hesitation,” he said.

All the African regions have a standby troop to intervene in case of any security threat and they perform this role on a rotational basis of six months. EASF was chosen to put a troop on standby for six months, that’s from January to June 2017.

James Mutabazi, the undersecretary in charge of finance and administration at the ministry of defence said that these troops will help provide African solutions to African problems.
He explained that looking at what Africa has gone through especially the past security experiences handled by foreign troops, it’s better for the continent to have its own security force that understands better the culture and nature of African problems.
“We have had conflicts in the past and recently for example the war in Somalia, where countries like America came in to solve but failed and when African troops were later engaged, we are now seeing some progress and relative stability. Therefore, the best suited people to solve African problems are the Africans themselves,” he said.

They were speaking at the opening of a week-long EASF organs meeting, taking place at Imperial Royale Hotel, Kampala. The annual meeting will be crowned with a peace walk and a debate among the partner states on Saturday in order to create awareness public awareness of the existence and role of the standby troops.
Partner states include Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, Seychelles, Djibouti, Comoros, Ethiopia and Sudan

In 2014, Uganda set aside about 800 soldiers as part of its contribution to EASF. It also provided to provide 30 infantry fighting vehicles, air defence assets, artillery assets, a fully-fledged level one military hospital, 10 tanks and logistic equipment and logistic equipment.

The EASF formerly Eastern Africa Standby Brigade is one of the five regional forces for Peace Support Operations (PSOs) of the African Standby Force. It consists of military, police and civilian components.

Chanfi said that their aim is to create a robust institutional mechanism of peace and security in Eastern Africa that has a capability to respond quickly to the call for intervention in case of a security threat.

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Somaliland Head To Polls For Councillors And MPs On May 31, 2021 Last updated May 31, 2021

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Waxaa Qoray

Voters in the self-proclaimed republic of Somaliland are heading to the polls on May, 31 to choose their member of parliament for the first time since 2005.

Somaliland broke off from mainland Somalia after the regime of Siad Barre in 1991.

The 5.2 Million citizens of Somaliland will be making yet another stab at global recognition as some 1.3 million voters head to the polls to choose 82 members of parliament and 247 local councils.

An election whose measure of democracy Somaliland hopes to use in its quest to certify its sovereignty.

Somaliland’s three political parties in the polls are opposition politicians Faisal Warabe’s UCID, Wadani led by another opposition leader Abdirahman Erye and President Muse Bihi Kulmiye party.

The elections is observed by over a hundred international observers including Uganda’s former opposition leader, Kizza Besigye and ex-president of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Korma.

”Our visit to the headquarters of the Somaliland National Electoral Commission left us with a good impression about the Commission’s preparedness to conduct peaceful and credible elections,” said in a Twitter post.

The elections are taking place in six regions of Somaliland, namely Awdal, Sahil, Marodi-Jeeh, Toghdeer, Sanaag and Sool.

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3 Somalia Regional States Say No To Farmaajo Term Extension.

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Waxaa Qoray

The regional state leaders of Southwest, HirShabelle, and Galmudug allied with incumbent President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo have opposed to any form of extension on Tuesday evening.

In a joint statement Galmudug and HirShabelle called for dialogue based on 17 September pact.

“We agreed that the country should hold elections as soon as possible and that any form of extension should be abolished,” read part of the joint statement by HirShabelle and Galmudug.

Southwest leader Abdiaziz laftagaren also opposed the term extension of the President just an hour after Galmudug and HirShabelle released a joint statement.

The move by the three regional states allied to President was welcomed by Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble who also instructed the military commanders to pull back forces to their locations and barracks.

“I would like to welcome the press statements made by Galmudug and HirShabelle federal states, ” PM Roboe said in a statement.

“I call on the FMS states of Puntland and Jubaland and Benadir region to fully commit to a peaceful process in our efforts to hold free and inclusive election, ” he added.

United Nations, United Kingdom, United States and opposition leaders including former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud commended the move by the regional states.

“The UN in Somalia noting statements by Qoorqqor, Ali Gudlawe, PM Roble and others recalls int’l partners position: consensus is vital for any electoral process; only 17 September model can be endorsed by FGS and all FMS; all parties must reject violence and resume dialogue, ” the United Nations said.

The development comes as families in some parts of Mogadishu fleed from their residences and moved to other district followings clashes.

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Somali Gov’t Warns Al-Shabaab & ISIS Will Capitalize On SNA Faction Clashes.

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Waxaa Qoray

Somali National Security Minister Hassan Hundubey has warned opposition groups to be wary of “unknown elements” including Al-Shabaab and Daesh who might seek to use the current crisis to inflict harm to the public.

Speaking to the media on Tuesday said that the government may take action to confront people with the “behaviour of militias” who are taking advantage of the situation.

“The government has enough troops to take control of the city. It is Ramadan, but more actions need to be taken to prevent it.” mr. Hundebey said.

”The reason the prime minister called for dialogue is that the government does not want the fighting to affect the residence,” he added.

The remarks by the interior minister come hours after the international partners strongly condemned the outbreak of violence in the capital.

“We are alarmed especially by the emerging fragmentation of the Somali National Army along clan lines, which detracts from its primary task of combating Al Shabab and protecting the Somali population. Use of security forces for the pursuit of political objectives is unacceptable” the statement read in part.

As tensions increase in Mogadishu following Sunday clashes between government soldiers and those who were against President Farmaajo’s two years term extension.

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