The Cabinet Secretary for Defense, Aden Duale has been appointed as the Chairperson of the Council of Ministers of the East Africa Standby Force (EASF) during a Policy Organs Meeting held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Duale took over the Chairmanship of the Council from the Ethiopian Minister of Defence, Dr. Abraham Belay whose term ended while Brigadier Paul Njema of Kenya Defence Forces was appointed the Director of the EASF Secretariat.
The Policy Organs Meeting further unanimously agreed to have Kenya chair the Assembly of Heads of State and Government and the Committee of the Chiefs of Defence Forces (Staff).
The Ministers meeting was preceded by that of the Committee of Chiefs of Defence Forces from the Member States and was chaired by the Chief of General staff of the Ethiopia National Defence Forces, Field Marshall Birhanu Jula Gelalcha.
The Chiefs of Defence Forces meeting noted that the security dynamics of the region had changed over time and that there was need to enhance the capacity of EASF beyond a Standby Force.
The Council proposed that EASF evaluates itself and see how it could be structured to meet the demands of the current security dynamics. To this effect, the participants proposed the establishment of the Panel of Elders (PoE) awaiting its regularization.
The EASF Secretariat pointed out that the African Union (AU) had expressed interest of establishing a Medical Training Centre in one of the EASF Member States comprising Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.
EASF was established as a regional mechanism to provide capability for rapid deployment of forces to carry out preventive deployment, rapid intervention, peace support/stability operations and peace enforcement.
The Force is a regional organization mandated to foster peace and security in the Eastern Africa region and is one of the five regional multidimensional Forces of the African Standby Force (ASF) consisting of Military, Police and Civilian components. Other multidimensional Forces in the African Continent are; the Northern Standby Brigade (NARC), Western Africa Standby Brigade (ECOWAS), Central African Standby Brigade (ECCAS) and the Southern Africa Standby Brigade (SADC).