EAC countries plan joint security

EAC countries plan joint security
East African Community Partner States Ministers for Foreign Affairs in a photo with other delegates (photo credit: Courtesy)

The Defense Ministers from  East African Community have resolved to strengthen regional integration in their ministerial meeting held in Arusha, Tanzania.

They discussed the status of the implementation of previous decisions of the Sectoral and Calendar of Activities from January to June 2022.

The meeting was attended by South Sudan Minister for Defence and Veteran Affairs Angelina Teny, who participated in the discussion on regional security among other issues.

A member of the East Africa Legislative Assembly, Dr Woda Jeremiah, yesterday hailed the government for considering regional participation which she said would support the country with crucial knowledge.

“There are so many meetings that take place every time and this time our minister of defence Angelina Teny was there. It is good that this time that South Sudan has participated in this ministerial meeting,” said Dr Woda Jeremiah.

In August 2021, the East African Community Joint Sectoral Council on Defense, Inter-State Security and Foreign Policy Coordination adopted a framework for establishing a Regional Youth Peace and Security Platform.

The meeting further directed the EAC Secretariat and the Partner States to operationalise the platform and develop a Peace and Security communication strategy to facilitate awareness creation on the existing peace and security structures. It was also to promote and coordinate meaningful participation of youths at all levels in implementing the platform.

The Sectoral Council, which was chaired by Kenya’s Chief Administrative Secretary for National Security, Peter Odoyo, noted that there was a need to develop a mechanism for mapping areas with potential insecurity that requires youth intervention.

The meeting noted that the partner states’ ministries that are responsible for EAC affairs should take an active role in the coordination and implementation of the Regional Platform on Youth, Peace and Security.

The Sectoral Council also adopted the Draft EAC Strategy and Implementation Plan for Youth Peace and Security (2021-2026).

In adopting the Draft Strategy, the ministers observed that the document had already received inputs from the partner states that have enriched the draft Youth Peace and Security Strategy document at both national and regional levels.

The ministers observed that there was a need to popularise the EAC Youth Peace and Security Instruments and initiatives with key stakeholders in the region. They added that such was also needed to have a consistent definition of the youth with international, continental and regional instruments.

The Sectoral Council also approved the draft enabling institutional structures to support the Council of Ministers on Peace and Security matters. The council is also to refer the same for consideration by the Sectoral Council on Legal and Judicial Affairs for legal advice in line with Decision 33 of the 33rd Meeting of the Council of Ministers.

Threats

The East African frontier is of late face myriad of insecurity challenges that require joint efforts to seal off the loopholes of crime emanating from security lapse.

For instance, Kenya has consistently remained on high alert against the terror threat from Islāmic militia group Al-Shabaab. Uganda also registered terrorist attacks in the past few weeks where Islāmic State terrorist group claimed responsibility.

South Sudan is still implementing the 2018 revitalised peace agreement to weed out the sources of insecurity such as rebels that have been accused of staging highway attacks as well as inter-communal violence that have been witnessed in counties such as Tonj East and Tombura among others.

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