East African countries to hold joint military drills in Uganda

More than 1,500 troops from the six East African Community (EAC) member states are scheduled to carry out joint drills in Uganda, the Uganda military said Wednesday.

The military in a statement issued here said the troops from Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan will be joined by civilians in the 12th EAC Field Training Exercise.

The exercise scheduled to be held in May and June in eastern Uganda will test the readiness of the troops to respond to complex security challenges, according to the statement.

At a planning meeting held here Wednesday, Col. Raphael Kiptoo, who represented the EAC Secretary-General, said such exercises enhance the already high level of interconnectedness and interoperability of the troops in the region.

The drills, which have been conducted since 2005 under various themes, are conducted in accordance with the EAC Protocol on Cooperation in Defense Affairs. The exercises are conducted on a rotational basis among the partner states every two years.