KDF troops set to join regional standby force

The Kenya Defence Forces are set to be given approval to contribute troops to the East Africa Standby Force (EASF).

Tuesday September 9 2014

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) General Julius Karangi watch a demonstration by KDF soldiers at a training camp in Archer's Post, Isiolo County. PHOTO | PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) General Julius Karangi watch a demonstration by KDF soldiers at a training camp in Archer's Post, Isiolo County. PHOTO | PSCU NATION MEDIA GROUP.

By AGGREY MUTAMBO
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The Kenya Defence Forces are set to be given approval to contribute troops to the East Africa Standby Force (EASF).

The force will be charged with undertaking emergency security operations in eastern Africa under the authority of the Africa Union.

The approval follows a drill on Friday in which Kenyan soldiers were tested on their ability to provide security, stability, rapid operations, disaster response and support to humanitarian facilitators during a function at Archer’s Post camp in Isiolo.

The field training exercise, also known as FTX, was attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“The FTX was the culmination of the various stages of preparation of the force,” said Lucie Sewe, the information manager for the EASF.

DEPLOYMENT PROCEDURE

“EASF will conduct the last major exercise before declaration of full operational capability, the EASF Command Post Exercise (CPX), in November 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,” she added.

The Eastern Africa Standby Force is a regional organisation with the duty of keeping peace and securing the Eastern Africa region in times of conflicts such as those going on in South Sudan and Somalia.

Its members include Kenya, Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda. These countries have since signed to the Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of the Eastern Africa Standby Force.

Once all the members create their respective standby team, their deployment would require the approval procedure of the African Union and also based on the UN standards of intervention.

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