The Ugandan Minister of State for Defence and Veteran Affairs (General Duties), (Rtd) Col Charles Engola on Monday opened the Chief of Defence staff Session of the 3rd ministerial meeting at Serena Hotel Conference Centre in Kampala.
In attendance is Uganda’s Chief of Defence Forces Gen. David Muhoozi and other Chiefs of Defence Staff from ACIRC Volunteering Nations (VNs) of
While opening the session, Hon Engola expressed Uganda’s privilege to host the 3rd ministerial meeting of ACIRC at a time when issues related to peace and security are increasingly becoming critical on the continent.
The State Minister noted that Civil Wars, Cross border Conflicts, Internal violence, Terrorism have led to Loss of innocent lives, displacement of people, destruction of property, Social instability hence creating serious Peace and Security challenges to the Africa continent.
The Session discussed, among others, the report of the meeting of experts of ACIRC volunteering Nations where the experts proposed the ACIRC VNs at the level of Heads of states and Government meeting that are to be held in Chad in November 2017.
They commended the Republic of Rwanda for hosting UTULIVU Africa 111 Command Post Exercise and also commended Uganda for hosting the ongoing ACIRC meeting 2017.
Over the weekend, Lt. Gen Ivan Koreta represented the CDF who opened the first session appreciating the African Union (AU) for selecting Uganda to host the meeting; terming it a milestone in the operationalisation of African capacities for immediate response to crisis.
Lt Gen Koreta re-stated the fact that Africa as a whole is greatly affected by diverse protracted conflicts ruining peace on the continent.
“As such, African Capacity for immediate Response to crisis – a voluntary mechanism – could deliver the right impact, address complex conflicts and deal with various scenarios much earlier than projected, planning in an integrated manner, enhancing cohesion and capacity to go.”
In the past, volunteer nations of the ACIRC have committed themselves by jointly conducting military exercises and also planning more exercises to test forces’ readiness to deploy to conflict hot spots in the continent as mandated.
The African Capacity for immediate response to crises (ACIRC) was established by the AU Assembly during its 21st ordinary session in Addis Ababa from 26-27 May 2013.
Subsequent to the AU Assembly in its 26th ordinary session held in Adisababa Ethiopia from 30-31January 2016, it was decided that ACIRC continues its mandate.
In this regard, the ACIRC ministerial meeting is being convened in kamapala Uganda from 27-29th Aug 2017 with the aim of providing an update on the status and readiness of ACIRC forces.
While delivering a report of the Chairpersons of the African union Commission on the ACIRC Maj. Gen Francis Okello (Chief Planning and Operations) reported a challenge of a number of volunteering Nations (VNs) yet to sign the ACIRC Frame work memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the AU and governments contributing Resources to ACIRC.
The Assembly Decision(Assembly/AU/Dec.515) states that “upon a request by AU member state(s), the AU peace and security council (PSU) shall authorize the deployment of a force in accordance with the provisions of the AU Constitutive Act, especially Articles 4(h) and 4(j) and that the “implementation of the mandate shall be coordinated by the PSC”
The ACIRC 2nd extraordinary summit declaration of 9th November 2016 decided that the deployment of ACRC should be the responsibility of the AU PSC in consultation with ACIRC volunteering before issuance of the mandate.
The meeting has proposed that VNs that have not yet signed MOUs to consider signing them without delay.