A regional early warning mechanism on security will ensure that the East African Community (EAC) acts as one in facing security challenges, Beatrice Kiraso, the bloc's deputy secretary general in charge of Political Federation, has said.
"When we come together we become strong and have a better chance of defeating the enemy and overcoming whatever obstacles are on our way to integration," Kiraso said in a statement read on her behalf in Entebbe, Uganda, yesterday by Leonard Onyonyi, a peace and security expert for the EAC.
Kiraso's statement was to EAC delegates who met to adopt a draft roadmap for the operationalization of the EAC Early Warning Mechanism (EACWARN).
"Our region, more than other regions, due probably to its geographical position, is vulnerable to new and emerging security challenges," Kiraso said, citing climate change, piracy, terrorism, human trafficking, illicit drugs trafficking and arms trafficking as well as youth radicalization.
She commended the EAC partner states for combining efforts in the fight against insecurity in the region in her speech, which was availed to EANA.
“Let me take this opportunity to extend our sincere appreciation for the inestimable support you have dedicated to the Peace and Security Sector; this gives great comfort in our collective efforts to secure peace, security and stability, pre-conditions for sustainable socio-economic development in our Community and the successful integration of EAC," Kiraso said.
She added that pirates have in the recent past evolved to be the most security and economic challenges for the region as they seem to be cooperating in disrupting regional security and impacting high costs on regional trade and business.
The fourth joint meeting of the Sectoral Councils on Cooperation in Defence, Inter-State Security and Foreign Policy Coordination adopted the Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution (CPMR) Mechanism and directed the EAC secretariat to develop its implementation modalities by the 25th meeting of the council.
This mechanism is expected to work hand in hand with the early warning security mechanism so as to facilitate anticipation, preparedness and early responses to prevent, contain and manage situations that are likely to affect the region's peace and security.
The roadmap provides for the prioritization, sequencing, identification and allocation of resources for gradual implementation of the early warning mechanism.
Kiraso said she was optimistic that the two-day meeting would improve on the draft roadmap and formulate practical, cost-effective and timely recommendations that would facilitate the operationalization of the early warning mechanism.
Chairman of the session David Njoka from Kenya recognized the importance of the EACWARN, saying that it would strengthen the integration pace.
‘’The EACWARN will facilitate the monitoring of developments in the region that have potential to cause insecurity and instability,’’ he added.