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Ethiopian military boss in Nairobi for regional security meeting

The chief of Ethiopia National Defence Force field marshal general Birhanu Jula Galalcha arrived in Nairobi on Wednesday for a regional security meeting.

It is a first visit from a commander of a neighbouring country.

Galalcha visited the department of Defence headquarters and met chief of the Defence Forces gen Robert Kibochi and CS Eugene Wamalwa.

Officials said the meetings centred around bilateral defence relations and training and cooperation particularly in regards to support for the East Africa Standby Force operations.

EASF is currently holding a Command Post Exercise dubbed, ‘Mashariki Salaam’ in Nairobi.

The exercise aims to boost structures and help member states in planning, preparation and execution of multi-dimensional peace support operations.

The visiting official attended the exercise’s closing ceremony on Thursday.

Kibochi had last week officiated the event on March 21.

He said participants should take full advantage of the opportunity for the betterment of not only themselves, but for the greater good.

Kibochi said a better prepared EASF will effectively maintain peace and manage crisis in the region.

“The EASF as an organisation has a crucial role to play in the ever changing security environment that we find ourselves in nowadays. It is therefore imperative that it continues to develop and adapt to the situations as needed,” he said.

The Defence chief said the training has been tailored to encompass all aspects and realities in security protocols in order to ensure a well-rounded workforce.

“The threats that present themselves today often require capabilities that match and even exceed it at times. It is therefore necessary that we endeavour to always be mission ready for any and all deployments,” he said.

EASF was established in 2004 with the objectives of discharging in a timely manner, the functions of maintaining peace and security.

It is mandated by the African Union Peace and Security Council to respond effectively to crises within Eastern Africa and across the African continent.

This is done through regional conflict prevention, management and resolution.

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