Zoe Richards & Andrew Bagala Kampala A standby force in the Eastern Africa region will be ready for deployment in conflict prone areas by next year, the Director of Eastern Africa Standby Brigade Coordination Mechanism has said. A Kenyan retired Col. Peter Marwa said the standby force will comprise of the military, civil police and civilians who will be able to undertake peacekeeping missions in African Union. The Eastern African Standby Force is one of the five regional standby forces within the African Peace and Security Architecture which is expected to be operational and ready for deployment by the year 2010, Col. Marwa said yesterday. Col. Marwa made the revelation at the opening of the second police point of contact workshop for the Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) in Kampala. The Eastern African region comprise of 13 countries including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritius, Eritrea, Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan, Comoros, Seychelles, Rwanda, Burundi and Madagascar. Col. Marwa said after they held a command post exercise under the multidimensional system in November last year, they were to hold a field training exercise in two months time. He said 1,500 officers including army, police officers and civilians will perticipate in the training. Norway, Japan and Germany have each provided funding and volunteered support for the initiative. The Director of Uganda Police Human Resource Management and Development, Mr Richard Busherurwa, said the inclusion of the police component in the peacekeeping mission is very important and has been overdue given the fact that such missions have been driven by the military component. The aim and objectives of this workshop is to energise police planning, coordination and map out strategies in fast tracking the development and operationalisation of the EASF police component, he said. Mr Busherurwa, however, said in their execution of their mandate, they must endure that fundamental human rights of all individuals are observed and respected.