Burundi defence ministry hopeful for 2017

Emmanuel Ntahomvukiye, the Minister of National Defence and Former Combatants

Emmanuel Ntahomvukiye, the Minister of National Defence and Former Combatants

“We have accomplished much and there are many more activities to do next year”, said Emmanuel Ntahomvukiye, the Defense Minister as he presented his ministry’s accomplishments for this year and plans for 2017.

He said that among the many plans the ministry has, it will work towards the creation of a Senior Command Officer College that will have EAC regional recognition to promote academic training and capacity building for senior army officers.

The ministry will also promote gender integration. To this effect, the ministry will place qualified service personnel in every military district. “The effort for the integration will be copied from the success of developed countries in this regard”, said Minister Ntahomvukiye.

The ministry will progressively update the arsenal of Burundi troops in peace-keeping mission. The Minister of Defence said this will be done to meet UN requirements and therefore improve capabilities of the troops and facilitate their operations in Somalia.

Ntahomvukiye said that the ministry will also work for the improvement of working conditions of the staff by finalizing the preparation of building plots located in Gatumba II where houses of high ranking army officers will be built.

As for the cooperation with armies of the regions, the ministry will continue to engage in cultural activities and joint drills with counterparts in the region.

The Minister of Defence said the 2016 accomplishments include, among many other things, the training of 7,500 army service persons in ethics. “The training has helped them to act professionally in their routine activities”, he said.

He also said his ministry has reorganised the schedule of the staff to work in a single block. The change in the schedule has earned the ministry BIF 20 million every 3 months ever since. Moreover, the working time has increased for all workers.

The Minister of National Defence and Former Combatants was speaking at a ceremonial event that he, alongside the Minister of  Public Security and the Head of National  Intelligence, had organised to wish a happy New Year of 2017 to President Pierre Nkurunziza.