Kenya And Uganda Commits To Enhance Defence Relations

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Kenya and Uganda on Thursday completed a two-day Joint Defence Committee (JDC) engagement in Nairobi.

The meeting, attended by military officers from Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), was co-chaired by the Chief of Strategic Plans and Policy (SP&P)Brigadier Richard Mwanzia and his Ugandan counterpart Brigadier General Joseph Balikudembe.

In his remarks, Brigadier Mwanzia acknowledged that signing the Defence Cooperation Agreement last year enhanced the long cordial relationship between the two countries. He added that the agreement has brought about constant engagement and increased collaboration between the two militaries as partners in seeking sustainable security solutions.

Brigadier Mwanzia further underscored the importance of a robust regional security mechanism to coordinate and strengthen the partnership between the neighbouring militaries.

Brigadier General Joseph Balikudembe, on the other hand, lauded the Kenyan delegation for espousing a cordial relationship with Uganda, adding that working together strengthens the existing good relationship between the two countries.

On the Bilateral Defence Cooperation Agreement, he recognized it as the legal instrument which binds the two nations to cooperate and address common strategic security interests.

During the deliberations, considerations were made to alleviate food insecurity in the shared border regions, noting that climate change and climatic variations had rendered the communities perennially food-insecure and limited their sources of livelihood. The resource scarcity compelled some of them to migrate in search of pasture and water points.

They also deliberated on establishing other social and economic programmes to integrate border communities.

The meeting underscored that continued cooperation increases understanding of how both Uganda and Kenya may use military forces both in crisis and at peacetime to deliver stability and prosperity and shape a defence culture.

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