By Kampala Post Reporter
The East African Community Military Games and Cultural Event 2019 on Tuesday officially opened at Moi International Sports Center (MISC) Kasarani in Nairobi Kenya, where the UPDF is actively participating.
The event that runs from the 11th- 24th Aug 2019 is under the theme “One People, one Destiny.” Six Countries that form the EAC; Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda are taking part. The Uganda Contingent, code named “Mission Uganda” is comprised of different teams of Football, Net ball, Volley ball, Basketball and referees and umpires.
The contingent, under the command of Col John Mark Ssemanda who is also the Director of Sports in UPDF, emerged third in last year’s event held in Burundi, where they won various medals. The team won Silver in Football and Net ball, Bronze in Volley ball and Cross Country. Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Defence, Racheal Omamo who officiated at the event, applauded the sister East African Community countries for honouring their invitation and the teams for their efforts in training.
She added that without the partnership with other EAC members, Kenya would not mark this milestone. “These games are invisible steps which affirm the unity and togetherness amongst the East African member states. Sports and Cultural events create good relationships not only amongst the countries but also among the players which helps them acquire different skills through working and living together,” she observed.
Omamo also congratulated South Sudan upon joining the games for the first time and called upon all the participants to work together, eat together and enjoy together, regardless of which countries they come from in order to further the EAC objectives. She assured participants of peace and security in Kenya and called upon them to feel at home throughout the event.
The Kenyan Defence Forces Chief of General Staff, Gen. Samson Mwathethe in his remarks said that he was honored to host the EAC Military Games and Cultural events for the second time since 2007. He called upon the East African member states to emulate the EA Defence forces and fast track the regional integration in other sectors in order to realize regional unity, peace and development.
"EAC Military event will cement and foster the solidarity through sports and cultural participation which will improve on the health, skills and unity of the militants,” said General Mwathetha.