30th Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) Policy Organs Meetings
Seychelles participated in the 30th Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) Policy Organs Meetings (POM) held in Kampala Uganda from 13 to 17 December 2021. The POM comprised of three levels of meetings; the Expert meeting, the Eastern Africa Chiefs of Defence and Security (EACDS) meeting and the Council of Ministers meeting. The EASF Policy Organs Meetings provides guidance for executing EASF affairs at the policy and management levels.
Brigadier Michael Rosette, Chief of Defence Forces of the Republic of Seychelles participated in the EACDS meeting and also attended the EASF Council of Ministers meeting on behalf of Minister E. Fonseka.
The discussion at EASF Council of Ministers meeting encompassed technical issues addressed in the Expert and EACDS meetings including regional security issues, challenges from terrorism, cross border crime and illicit trafficking and potential solutions.
The EASF is a regional organization whose mandate is to enhance peace and security in the Eastern Africa region. The organisation currently has 10 active member states which includes Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda. Seychelles signed the Agreement establishing the standby force and the policy framework for the establishment of the Eastern Africa Standby Force on 26 June 2014 at the Extraordinary Summit of the East African Standby Force Coordinating Mechanism (EAFSCOM) held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea and the Agreement was later ratified on 8 June 2016.
EASF Secretariat, located in Nairobi, Kenya, serves as the Secretariat for all EASF policy organs, structures and activities in consultation with relevant authorities of Member States and the African Union. The Secretariat is led by the current Director, Brigadier Brigadier General Getachew Shiferaw Fayisa. Following the Director’s visit to Seychelles earlier this month, he emphasised the need for member states to participate in a physical meeting to address issues faced by the member states themselves as well as institutional challenges faced by EASF as an organisation, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The EASF POM concluded with a change of Chairmanship as the EASF flag was handed over to Ethiopia as the new Chair from the outgoing Chair, which is the Republic of Djibouti.