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Joint trainings key to end violent extremism globally – Uganda Deputy CDF

Monday July 2, 2018

The Uganda Deputy Chief of Defence Forces Lt. Gen. Wilson Mbadi has said violent extremism requires tackling through joint trainings of armies across the globe.

According to Mbadi, training together creates synergies that come from each other’s strength in different fields like air, marine and ground operations.

“If all these troops operated together, we would have each country stronger in terms of air, ground and marine operations which would be combined to collectively fight violent extremism,” he said.

Mbadi was officiating at the closure of a 12-day  Command Post exercise (CPX) dubbed Justified Accord 2018 (JA18) at Gaddaffi barracks in Jinja town on Friday.

He said the event’s theme ‘together for a peaceful world’ was crucial saying if they wanted peace, they needed to unity.

The exercise attracted 180 participants drawn from 10 countries such as United States, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Italy.

“If we want peace, we should all unity and once all combined together, it would give the force real synergetic power to enable us achieve the peace that we are seeking,” he said.
The exercise was geared at preparing a transition from the African Union Mission for Somalia (AMISOM) to the Somali National Security Forces.

However, Mbadi said such multinational and multidimensional peace support operations would not only benefit Somalia, but elsewhere because of the involving global trends of conflicts and challenges.

He said they needed to develop through such exercises by both military and full spectrum government approaches for international peace and security.

Quoting the Italian saying of ‘he who desires peace must prepare for war’ Mbadi said such exercises were relevant to prepare their troops for war in order to attain peace.

He challenged the participants to evaluate if the exercise had improved their personal effectiveness to uniquely position themselves as commanders and staff to generate workable options for the dynamic and ambiguous situations faced.

Mbadi thanked the United States government especially the defence department and United States Army Africa (USAA) for supporting the exercise including other partners.
Meanwhile Brig. Gen. William Prendgast, the head of delegation USAA described the exercise as a prestigious one.

He said holding it jointly demonstrated the meaning of interoperability after it attracted participating troops from 3 continents to accomplish one complex critical mission of transition in Somalia.

Prendgast explained that they tested their ability to successfully operate as a combined force under one umbrella.

During the exercise, he said they developed a doctrine and discussed with the International Community of the Red Cross (ICRC), United Nations and AMSOM of their collective roles for a secure Somalia.

“A secure Somalia is a secure East Africa, it is important to encounter violent extremis jointly,” he said.

Also, Prendgast said they discussed the importance of respecting of rule of law and human rights, credibility and transparency while investigating allegations of abuses.

He said respecting human rights builds trust between a state and its citizens and also reduces radicalisation.

Also, Prendgast said it was impressing to provide security in Somalia as they looked for a transition from AMISOM to the Somalia National armed forces.

He said their mission involves building a stable and secure Africa.
The exercise coordinator, Brig. James Ruhesi, said their expectations of equipping the troops with capabilities to command and control peace support operations and employ AMISOM processes and procedures were achieved.

He said they were now able to conduct planning in accordance with the East African Standby Force mandate.

He added that they could also provide command and control of assigned forces, to integrate operations with other components operating in a multinational peace support operation environment.

During the event, Mbadi awarded certificates to all country heads.


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