The 4th East African Community (EAC) Armed Forces Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) activities conducted in the United Republic of Tanzania have today successfully ended.
These happened from 26 August to 1 September 2022 and mainly focused on Primary Health Care. The closure on 31 August 2022 culminated into celebrations to mark the birth of the Tanzania Peoples’ Defence Forces (TPDF) 58th birthday, as founded on 1 September 1964.
Speaking during the closure of the week – long event in Dar El Salaam, the Chief Guest and TPDF Chief of Medical Services, Maj Gen Amri Mwami expressed his profound gratitude that the core objectives of the event were met. “The event focused on provision of health services to Tanzanians in Dar es Salaam, Coastal region and Unguja. It also delivered support and assistance to the disadvantaged or special groups at 11 orphanage centers and elderly homes,” Maj Gen Mwami noted.
He added: “Iam convinced that those donations will improve the welfare of disadvantaged groups and leave memories for a long time.”
The EAC Army Forces CIMIC contingents established six medical camps where over 9,500 patients were treated. Contingents also donated special support that included: food stuffs (rice, cooking oil, wheat, maize flour and sugar). Non-food items included: building materials, that is; cement, iron sheets, tiles, clothing, mattresses and stationery, among others.
The EAC Army Forces CIMIC week is an annual and rotational activity aimed at fostering cooperation between the EAC Partner States armed forces and their people.
Maj Gen Mwami narrated that contemporary challenges to global peace and security know no borders, and efforts to standardize our operations through joint training exercises and Civil-Military Cooperation activities should be prioritized. “We must build on working together with civilians both at peace and difficult times especially in the modern era where most of the security threats are asymmetric and emanating from within our own population,” emphasized Maj Gen Mwami.
He also thanked the EAC Secretariat for organizing the event and EAC Partner States for accepting to participate.
Additionally, the event is a product of the Defence Expert Working Group on Sports and Culture that sat in Kigali – Rwanda in 2016, and is conducted in accordance with the EAC Protocol on Cooperation in Defence Affairs.
The Armed Forces CIMIC contingents that participated in this year’s 4th Edition included: Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) led by Chief CIMIC Brig Gen Emmanuel Rwashande and operated at Mpendae level II Hospital, Coastal town of Zanzibar, South Sudan Peoples’ Defence Forces (SSPDF) under Alie Deng who operated in Kigamboni, Burundi National Defence Forces (BNDF) under Col Biherengende Jean Baptiste at Magomeni in Dar es Salaam.
Others were Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) led by Col Gabriel Opondo at Kibaha hospital, Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) under Lt Col Vicent Mugisha at Bagamoyo hospital, in the coastal region, and the hosts TPDF under Brig Gen Agatha Mary Katua who operated at Mbagala in Dar es Salaam.
TPDF used the closing occasion to convey its heartfelt condolences to the UPDF fraternity upon the passing on of former security Minister and Army Commander late Gen Elly Tumwiine (RIP).
Late Gen Elly Tumwiine had a close relationship with the United Republic of Tanzania having trained as a Cadet Officer at Monduli Military Academy in 1979 with notable TPDF officers such as the former Chief of Defence Forces, Gen (Rtd) Mabeyo.
The closing ceremony was also attended by Defence Liaison officers from EAC Partner States, Defence Advisors, TPDF Service Commanders, Chiefs and Directors from Defence Headquarters, among others.
Previous EAC Armed Forces CIMIC weeks were held in Kenya (2020),2021 was skipped due to COVID-19 pandemic, Rwanda (2019). In 2018, Uganda hosted similar activities during Defence Forces week and Tarehe Sita in the Bukedi Sub Region.