Uganda has officially transferred the leadership of the African Conference of Commandants (ACoC) of Military Staff Colleges to Libya. The handover ceremony was presided over by Gen. Wilson Mbasu Mbadi, Chief of Defence Forces of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF). In his address, Gen. Mbadi emphasized the importance of maintaining impartiality when conducting peace support operations in conflict-torn countries.
The ACoC is an organization that unites African Staff Colleges and Military Institutions of Higher Learning with a mission to inform and enhance the education, training, and development of military officers. Its goal is to support policy formulation and military standards in Africa.
Gen. Wilson Mbasu Mbadi highlighted the prevalence of new wars, violent conflicts, and civil unrest in various parts of Africa and beyond. He stressed the need for African countries to address these challenges proactively. Mbadi’s remarks came during the closing of the 17th Conference of Commandants (ACoC) of Staff Colleges, a four-day event that brought together 64 delegates from 22 African countries at Royal Suites in Bugoloobi, Kampala.
The ACoC aims to enhance harmonization, interoperability (the ability of military groups to operate together), commonality, standardization, and cooperation among African Staff Colleges. Gen. Mbadi noted that in conflict zones like Libya and Somalia, the primary requirement often involves creating peace before attempting to maintain or support it. He cited the example of the UPDF’s involvement in Somalia, where they had to first establish peace through military operations.
During the handover ceremony, Major Gen. George Igumba, the commandant of Uganda Staff College Kimaka, who had held the leadership position since November 2022, transferred the mantle to Brig. Gen. Nuri Ahmed Maghidr of the State of Libya. The Libyan ambassador to Uganda, Ibrahim Sultan, and other officials were also present at the event.
One of the key resolutions of the conference was to revitalize the visibility of ACoC, promote greater integration among the staff colleges, and utilize their website as a platform to communicate emerging issues. Additionally, Rwanda was endorsed to take over the leadership from Libya in 2024.
The conference saw participation from various Staff colleges representing countries such as Angola, Botswana, DR Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Libya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, among others.