Chilima underscores unity of purpose at 2017 ALS

Lilongwe, May 8: Malawi’s Vice President, Saulos Chilima has stressed the need to set aside imaginary boundaries, race and nationalities in combating regional and trans-regional security challenges and threats.

The Veep made the call at Bingu International Convention Center (BICC) in Lilongwe on Monday where he graced the official opening of this year’s week-long Africa Land Forces Summit (ALFS 2017).

In his speech, Chilima said it was almost impossible, in modern day, to isolate Africa as a separate community of mankind saying the community of mankind had lost its boundaries and that the world lived in a global community.

We are all products of our communities and a community is like a circle where everyone is watching each other’s back. In our communal spirit, we live and sacrifice for one another, said Chilima.

Land Force Commanders and representatives from 37 African countries are participating in the summit and they will discuss and develop cooperative solutions to security threats and challenges.

The summit is being co-hosted by the United States Government to which Chilima observed that an African problem could bear real consequences on the American continent and vice versa.

No matter how deep we dig in the bunkers of our races and nationalities, an attack on one will always be an attack on all, and a threat facing one continent will always affect another, he said, adding that beyond race and nationality, all humanity shared the same blood and endured the same pain.

Chilima further said states share a common purpose in building their collective capacity to achieve and sustain international peace and security because they know there is power in unity of purpose.

Speaking earlier, Commander of the Malawi Defense Force, Griffin Spoon Phiri, said security issues were directly linked to development and that insecurity undermined prospects of long-term economic growth.

He thus urged that militaries should be looked at as partners in sustainable development without compromising their combat readiness.

For this to be achieved there is need to enhance our Civil-Military Relations and cooperation which require that the military be subordinate to the democratically elected governments and provide space for development while also protecting the democratic values, explained the MDF Commander.

During the one week, themes of discussion will include critical war fighting and peacemaking skills, sustainable deployed forces, and gender mainstreaming and sex abuse and exploitation.

Source: Malawi News Agency � MANA