Ten countries in the eastern part of Africa; Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia and Sudan have reached a solid agreement to form a regional military force, reports Nation.
The ten countries have established a peace fund for the joint force, nearly 1 million USD has been raised not including the total pledges made by the countries.
“It is the first regional force on standby. A peace fund was also established and operationalized. It now has Sh97,624,100,” Kenya Defence Forces chief Samson Mwathethe said yesterday.
The regional force is setting the pace for the creation of a unified continental military force. At least four regional forces have been formed across Africa established by the economic blocs Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Southern African Development Community (SADC) and North African Regional Capability (NARC).
The East Africa Standby Force (EASF) would help in sustaining peace in the region. The EASF director position is held by the member countries on a rotational basis and the new director is from Djibouti. The secretariat is located in Nairobi, Kenya, while the logistics headquarters are in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.EASF troops are currently serving in Somalia under the African Union Mission in Somalia as well as the United Nations missions in Darfur and South Sudan.
Tanzania is missing in the EASF since it joined forces with southern African countries that are members of the SADC.
The regional forces was born out of the inaugural AU summit in 2002 when African leaders expressed their desire to no longer depend on countries outside Africa to solve its problems.