Tanzania is hosting military, police and other security professionals from East Africa to embark on a joint anti-terrorism exercise.
The announcement comes one day after terrorists inflicted the “worst attack” on U.N. forces in recent history, in which 15 Tanzanian peacekeepers and five Congolese soldiers died.
The exercise, dubbed Ushirikiano Imara 2017, will take place over a two week period at the Peace Training Centre Kunduchii in Tanzania’s capital, Dar es Salaam.
Tanzanian Defence Minister Hussein Ali Mwinyi opened the joint exercise and said: “Currently, the security challenges facing one partner State are almost the same and in some cases they are hatched from the same source given the geographical settings we are in. Therefore, sharing knowledge and experience becomes a crucial objective to enhance peace and stability in our region.”
The East Africa Community (EAC) was well represented, with the Kenya Defence Forces, Kenya Maritime Authority, Kenya National Disaster Operation Centre and Interior and Foreign Affairs ministries all taking part in the exercise – which is in line with EAC’s protocol on “Cooperation in Defence”.
Besides terrorism, the initiative also aims to strengthen peace-time operations, counter-piracy and disaster management.
It is the 10th joint-exercise by east African countries.