KAMPALA, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Ugandan military has dispatched a contingent of 106 soldiers for a two-week's joint East Africa Standby Force (EASF) peacekeeping and security exercise in Sudan.
Brig. Richard Karemire, Ugandan military spokesperson, told Xinhua on Tuesday that the contingent led by Brig. Michael Nyarwa, the commander of Marine Brigade, will participate in the field training exercise, dubbed "Mashariki Salaam II," in Port Sudan.
He said the exercise, which has attracted over 1,000 troops from the 10 EASF countries, will help boost the capabilities of the forces in peacekeeping, conflict and terrorism management, and combating human trafficking in the region.
The troops are drawn from Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, Burundi, Comoros, Somalia and Seychelles.
"This is a regular exercise that takes place amongst 10 partner states. The exercise is aimed at making the force more ready as part of the African peace architecture," said Karemire.
"These countries' militaries will also be sharing various experiences in intelligence gathering and fighting terrorism among others," he said.
The exercise, which is planned to run in a multidimensional environment comprising EASF's military, police and civilian components, runs from Nov. 25 to Dec. 3.
The Ugandan team was flagged off by Maj. Gen Nakibus Lakara, commandant of Uganda Rapid Deployment Capability Center, on Monday at the Junior Command and Staff College in the eastern district of Jinja.
The exercise is a key benchmark to test the regional organization's ability to respond to crisis situations in the region and beyond when tasked or mandated to do so by the African Union.
EASF is a regional force, whose mandate is to enhance peace and security in the eastern Africa region. It is one of the five regional multidimensional forces of the African Standby Force.
EASF was established in 2004 for rapid deployment and intervention, peace support and stability operations and peace enforcement.
It has since conducted a number of field training and command post exercises in Kenya, Djibouti, Sudan, Uganda, and Ethiopia, respectively.