Burundi’s army joined other East African military troops in the EAC Military Games from 18 to 30 August. This year Tanzania hosted the games on Zanzibar. Burundi is represented in five disciplines.-J.Berchmans Siboniyo
This is the 8th edition of the military games, representing troops from member states of the East African Community. The games take place at the Amaan Stadium in Zanzibar, under the theme ‘one people, one destiny’. These games are organized to enhance solidarity and the promotion of cooperation through sports and culture among the EAC Partner States Armed Forces. With the Games, the EAC aims to undertake mutual technical assistance towards the development of sports and culture in the Partner States Armed Forces, as well as contribute to regional efforts for peace through sports and culture.
The Military Games and Cultural Event are also meant to encourage physical education, sports and interaction of the diverse and rich EAC culture and customs within the military. It is a way to encourage and support all the measures designed to establish and strengthen the bonds of friendship and solidarity among the Partner States Armed forces and offer equal opportunity to all participants in the spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play. Overall, there are 430 contestants from five countries competing.
Burundi is represented in five disciplines: football (men), basketball (men), handball (men), netball (women), and cross country (men and women). Apart from cross country which offers only one chance for contestants, all the other games consist of four matches. Trophies are given to the champion countries of all disciplines. Col. Gaspard Baratuza, the spokesman of the Burundi army, states that the contestants were selected from soldiers who won previous games. Others are chosen from local military teams, such as Muzinga. Col. Baratuza indicates that he is not aware of the latest results but the envoy assures him of the good standing of the country. “We expect satisfying results. We will emerge victorious, as always.”
Iwacu failed to reach Mr. Gilbert Nitunga, the envoy of the Burundian army in Zanzibar, in order to give us the latest results of the games.
The first EAC Military Games and Cultural Event was held in the Republic of Uganda in 2005, the second was in the Republic of Kenya in 2006, the third in the United Republic of Tanzania in 2007, Uganda hosted the fourth edition in 2008, the fifth was in the Republic of Rwanda in 2009, the Republic of Burundi hosted the sixth edition in 2011, and the 7th in the Republic of Kenya in 2013.