The Eastern Africa Standby Force – (EASF) curators have pitched to funders shs 13 billion (USD 3.7 million) to enable them to finance various activities in 2022.
On Friday 17 December, the delegates who consist of the Military, Police and Civilian components concluded five days of the 30th Ordinary Session of Policy Organs’ high-level meetings of Experts Working Group; Council of Minister of Defense and Security, and Chiefs of Defence (CDFs) at Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala.
Despite the prevailing funding constraints over the years compounded by the global Covid-19 pandemic, the curators approved a resolution to solicit for USD 3.7 million to facilitate the implementation of activities such as supporting creation of Command Post Exercise 2022, codenamed ‘Mashariki Salaam’, loosely translating as Peace in the East, to be established in the Republic Kenya.
One significant priority area will be convening the meeting of the EASF Assembly of the Heads of State to deliberate on strengthening the EASF capacity in addressing the security challenges in the region.
They include current unrest in Sudan and acts of terror in member states like Uganda, capacity building trainings and recruitments among others.
Notably, some of the sources of fund for the budget includes remittances from the 10 member states namely; Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, and Uganda.
However, some of them have in the past defaulted on their financial obligations.
Djboutian Gen. Taher Ali Mohamed, the outgoing Chairperson of the Committee of Chiefs of Defence, rallied the member states to honour their obligations to the EASF and remit their assessed contributions timely to enable effective running of the affairs of the organization.
Brig. Gen. Getachew Fayisa, the Director of EASF, emphasized that the noble function of the EASF is being affected by funding deficits, forcing it to rely on the European Union and other partners for of financial backing putting their future sustainability at stake.
Meanwhile, Jacob Marksons Oboth, Uganda’s Minister of State in-charge of General Duties in the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs who addressed the delegates pledged Uganda’s continued commitment and support towards the great achievements of the EASF mandate in promoting peace, stability and security in the region.
According to the budget framework, the 10 member states will jointly contribute USD 109,000 (2.94%), about 387 million Ugandan shillings of the total budget.
The EASF Peace Fund is expected to provide USD 60,000 (1.62%), and the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA ) will remit a lion share of up to USD 2,009,000 about 7.142 billion shillings (54.19%).
APSA relies on external sources financially, for instance in in 2015, 95% of the total AU budget was financed by external partners such as EU, EU member states, Japan and China.
Equally in 2016 to date, external financing was estimated to amount to 52% of the budget.
Several other development partners who have been approached and confirmed to contribute to the budget thus: Denmark – USD 672,500 (18.14%); Finland – USD 140,000 (3.78%), Norway – USD 190,000 (5.13%), United Kingdom – USD 40,000 (1.08%), other partners – USD 471,500 (12.72%), and Sweden – USD 15,000 (0.40%), all totaling to USD 3,707,000 (13,179 billion).
Established in 2004, the EASF is one of the five regional multidimensional Forces of the African Standby Force (ASF) and heavily relies on member state revenue remittances and external funding to implement its goal and strategic objectives to enhance peace and security in the Eastern Africa region.
The proposed 31th Ordinary Session of Policy Organs’ high-level meetings will take place in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis-Ababa on a date yet to be agreed upon by the EASF member states in 2022.