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African Land Forces chiefs strategise in Lilongwe

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The Vice-President Saulos Chilima has said although Malawi is mandated to safeguard its territorial integrity, sovereignty and other national interests, the country remains committed to pursuing regional as well as global peace and security endevours.

Speaking when he officially opened a fifth African Land Forces summit in Lilongwe yesterday, Chilima said he is confident that the summit will devise sound mechanisms and strategies to achieve African objectives.

High-profile Land Forces chiefs from across the continent are meeting in the capital where they are discussing and developing corroborative solutions to national, regional, trans-regional and global challenges that threaten human security.

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Chilima said what matters most is the implementation of the lessons and the ideas from the summit.

“It is not what we agree that matters but what we do in the end. Just like it is with strategy, the difference between a good one and a not-so-good strategy is execution excellence,” Chilima said.

He said no matter how deep people dig in the bunkers of their nationalities and races an attack on one will always be an attack on all.

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“An African problem can bear real consequences on the American continent and vice versa. A threat facing one continent will always affect another. Beyond race and nationality, we share the same blood and we suffer the same pain. And when we triumph, we celebrate the same spirit of conquest,” he said.

Malawi Defence Force (MDF) General Griffin Supuni Phiri said there is a paradigm shift on the wider concept of security as threats and focus has now shifted from state-centric to human-centric security.

“Militaries the world over are not only special tools for war-fighting alone but also humanitarian tools for societal protection and development. It is, therefore, important that modern professional militaries should reconfigure towards achieving human security needs and be key players in their respective national development agenda. Militaries should now be looked at as partners in sustainable development without compromising their combat readiness,” Supuni Phiri said.

Representative of the United States to the African Union Mary Beth Leonard said by collectively strengthening partnership, African countries will be able to effectively deal with their challenges.

“Apart from conflicts in other parts of the Africa such as Somalia, Africa is also facing threats of endemic diseases and that situation needs cooperation among countries,” Leonard said.

The United States and Malawi are co-hosting the summit which is being held under the theme, ‘Enhancing Capacity through Partnership in Africa’.

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