East Africa Standby Force Chairman: We are Ready for Deployment

1972 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Mohammad Sheikh Ahmed, the Chairman of the East African Standby Force, says EASF has full operation capability, which means the forces can be deployed whenever needed.

The East African Standby Force (EASF) will venture into asymmetric warfare aimed at defeating belligerent military groups in the region.
This is warfare in which opposing groups or nations have unequal military resources and the weaker opponent uses unconventional weapons and tactics, as terrorism, to exploit the vulnerabilities of the enemy.

The EASF is a regional force composed of Military, Police and Civilians who are mandated to enhance peace and security in the Eastern Africa region. It 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.  

Mohammad Sheikh Ahmed, the Chairman of the East African Standby Force, says EASF has full operation capability, which means the forces can be deployed whenever needed. Sheikh Mohammad notes that the troops will remain under individual member states and will only come together whenever called on upon.

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The Leadership of the East African standby forces has prepared the mission headquarters staff ranging from the Police commander, civilian leadership and special representatives to the secretariat. The military headquarters has also been established with the force commander and 68 staff from the member states, have been trained and are on standby.

Other regional forces include; Northern Standby Brigade (NARC), Western Africa Standby Brigade (ECOWAS),Central African Standby Brigade (ECCAS) and Southern Africa Standby Brigade (SADC). Now East African Standby Force which only became operational in 2016 will focus on a symmetric war fare as a means to throw belligerent groups out of balance.

Maj Gen Tai C. Gituasi, the EASF Chief of staff states that EACF will only act on AU sanctioned deployments and deployment of force will be the last option. According to Gituasi, unlike in Europe, Africa and East Africa still faces a challenge of belligerent groups, which are a major source of instability.

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Gituasi stated that the EASF would consider deploying in any country as long as it is sanctioned by the African Union. He however stated that as a stand by force, it would not just deploy in a country for sovereignty and diplomatic reasons. As it stands, the member states have pledged to contribute 5000 troops as part of the standby force.


Mentioned: updf eacf

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.