UK, Denmark boost to Eastern African Standby Force

By British High Commission Nairobi

The UK Defence Attaché, Brigadier Mark Christie and Danish Ambassador to Kenya, H. E. Mette Knudsen handed over the jointly-funded Start-Up-Kit as part of the preparations for future deployment, Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF).

EASF has been working on acquisition for a rapidly deployable Mission Control Base for its land-element forces (Forward Force Headquarters) to further consolidate its preparedness to participate in peace-keeping missions.

The facility includes a self-sustaining headquarters with accommodation and ablutions for seventy (70) personnel. It has been designed and manufactured to fit comfortably on an area no larger than 60m x 80m on any terrain. It comprises the Administration Control Office; the Planning Office to accommodate desks for 24 personnel; a Joint Operating Command Centre (JOCC), which will be the central point for all the communications; a Briefing Room that has the capacity for up to 60 personnel at a time; and a small office for the Command Group, which will control all communications for the lead-forces.

EASF is a regional intergovernmental organisation with a mandate to enhance peace and security in the Eastern Africa region. It is established under the umbrella of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). The EASF is one of the five regional Standby Forces of the African Standby Force (ASF) consisting of multidimensional components namely, Military, Police and Civilian. It draws its membership from ten Member States from the Eastern Africa Region namely, Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.

The Kit was co-sponsored by the Danish and UK governments and supplied by the AFEX Company. Present at the handover were the Director of EASF Secretariat, H. E. Ambassador Issimail Chanfi, senior officials from the Kenyan Ministries of Defence, Ministry of Foreign affairs and Internal Security as well as Ambassadors and Defence Attachés representing EASF Member States.