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UHURU MUIGAI KENYATTA CGH, PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE FORCES OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA DURING THE OPENING OF THE 7TH EDITION OF EAC MILITARY GAMES AND CULTURAL EVENT IN NAIROBI, KENYA ON 7TH AUGUST 2013 First and foremost I wish to thank the EAC Heads of States for honouring our Nation by sending their Defence Forces Sportsmen and Women to the 7th EAC Military Games and Cultural event which Kenya is hosting for the second time round (first time was in 2006). On behalf of all Kenyans, accept my deep and heartfelt appreciation. I am pleased to note that this event is one of the many activities used as a tool of confidence building and fostering solidarity amongst our regional Defence Forces. It gives me much pleasure and honour to preside over the opening of this event and indeed I am proud to be associated with the EAC Defence Forces Sportsmen and Women who are renown worldwide for their prowess in the field of sports and also for their professionalism in their line of duty. This is yet another moment for you soldiers to showcase your great sportsmanship, solidarity and esprit de corps. I am sure the many citizens who will be coming to share this auspicious occasion with you will definitely borrow a leaf right from the magnificent organization of the event to the good conduct of you soldiers in and out of field of sports. The society has continued to look upon the military to show the way forward especially towards the promotion of peace and solidarity and you must never fail them. The EAC Military Games and Cultural events provide an opportune moment for you to demonstrate that sport can cut across both racial and cultural divides. In any case history shows that the East African Community has been one region with the indigenous populace sharing common ancestral history and had no prohibition of goods and people moving around. Additionally, I wish to urge you to continue being good ambassadors in sports and peace wherever you are assigned to compete in the international arena as I am aware that many of you have had and will have the privilege of representing your countries in continental events, world champions and even in the Olympics. In this regard, I am delighted to observe that you have been a source of pride and inspiration to the rest of the citizens and I can assure you that our governments appreciate your form of patriotism and effort and will always be ready to support and provide resources for even better performance and achievement of the ultimate goal of fostering peace and solidarity in this region and Africa at large. Our efforts in AMISOM and the Great Lakes Region are examples of our ongoing collective efforts in search of peace in our Region. At this point in time, allow me to extend my deep appreciation and gratitude to our Chiefs of the EAC Partner States Defence Forces for their dedication and for the big strides made towards the realization of the East Africa Community Cooperation in Defence aspect of the Memorandum of Understanding and specifically for the elaborate programme they have put in place towards confidence building and solidarity of EAC Defence Forces. I have no doubt in my mind that the MoU in cooperation in Defence is one of the most successful and exemplary programmes in the EAC integration process. This effort will definitely facilitate the fast tracking and handling of our common problems of security such
as terrorism, poaching and cattle rustling which can pose a threat to our regional stability. Stability remains the most critical ingredient to the future development and prosperity of our community. Let’s therefore stand guard and ensure peace that now reigns through the nations of EAC is safeguarded. On the other hand I do appreciate that leaders of the East Africa Community are more positive than before about the benefits of the EAC integration, and even the economic players now perceive long term benefits in the expanding regional market. I am happy to note also that free movement of our EAC people is set to improve further once the introduction of a common Identity Card is fully realized. I now wish to conclude by saying once again that Kenya is proud to be a member of the Eastern African Community and further reaffirm my support for the ultimate goal of regional integration to which I aspire. The regional integration is a logical step forward for our Partner States and is probably the best thing that has happened to this region since the independence of our individual Partner States. With these remarks, I now wish to declare the 7th Edition of the EAC Military Games and Cultural Events officially opened. God bless you all and God bless the East African Community.