•  Allow me first and foremost to give thanks to Almighty God whose unparalleled mercy and kindness have enabled us to meet in Bujumbura for the 11th EAC Military Games and Cultural Event 2017.

 

 

  • My gratitude also goes to the EAC Heads of States for honoring our Nation by sending their Defence Forces Sportsmen and Women to the 11th EAC Military Games and Cultural event which Burundi is hosting for the second time round.

 

 

  • As a country, we are more prepared sports wise, as we have decided to build modern sports facilities throughout Burundi starting from the grassroots, so that Burundians especially the youth can keep fit and stay healthy. Our athletes continue to raise the national flag on the world stage and we are investing to produce even more medal-winners.

 

 

  • I wish to use this platform to urge you to continue being good ambassadors in sports and peace wherever you are assigned to compete in the international arena as I am aware that many of you have had, and will have the privilege of your countries in continental events and world championships.

 

 

  • This is indeed another moment for our soldiers to showcase their great sportsmanship, solidarity and esprit de corps. I am sure the many citizens who will be coming to share this auspicious occasion with you will definitely borrow a leaf right from the magnificent organization of the event to the good conduct of you soldiers in and out of field of sports.

 

Excellencies,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen;

 

  • Let me take this opportunity to wish all the delegations, on behalf of the People of Burundi, the Burundian Army, and in my own name, a great welcome of brotherly love and friendship; and wish you a pleasant and enjoyable stay during all the time you will be here. Feel at home, our home is your home. We are One People with One Destiny. Kaze murisanze, Karibuni sana, Tubasanyukidde, ahlan wa sahlan!

 

 

  • It is a great honour for Bujumbura and Burundi as a whole to host these 11th EAC Military Games and Cultural Event 2017. This is a clear indication that peace and security reign on the national territory, contrary to what bad-intentioned media and enemies of Burundi spread around the globe.

 

Excellencies,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen;

 

  • These games are taking place at a time when Burundi is celebrating ten years since joining the East African Community. We have gained and contributed a lot ever since we joined.

 

Full integration in all sectors is effectively taking shape and this includes the Defence and Security Forces.

 

  • Culturally, we proud ourselves for owning drums that have been made by UNESCO part of the global heritage, and Burundi has just scooped the first place worldwide in the recent cultural and tourism exhibitions held in Russia. I have no doubts that our military are in a position to emulate what their civilian counterparts have been able to achieve recently.

 

 

  • Our efforts in Somalia, in Central African Republic and within the Great Lakes Region are examples of our ongoing collective efforts in search of peace in our Region. At this point in time, allow me to extend my deep appreciation and gratitude to our Chiefs of the EAC Partner States Defence Forces for their constant and consistent dedication.

 

 

  • Such a dedication and effort will definitely facilitate the fast tracking and handling of our common problems of security such as terrorism, poaching and cattle rustling which can pose a threat to our regional stability.

 

Excellencies,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen;

 

  • While Sport is unifying and bringing peoples together, let us compete but you should bear in mind that your job as a soldier is not the easiest. While our national armies do all they can to defend their borders and the region as a whole, you must constantly remember that the threat of terrorism is at an all-time high. We consequently need collective efforts and strategies to fight it.
  • These efforts should be a collective concern and I wish to appeal to all members of the East African Community to refrain from provoking one another or helping and abetting individuals or groups likely to disrupt peace and security in any other member state.

Excellencies,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen;

 

  • It is my hope that, by the time these games come to an end, you will have learned more realities about Burundi and I am sure it will not be a big task especially that the languages spoken within the East African Community are not very dissimilar.

 

 

  • So go on, have fun, enjoy yourselves and take full advantage of any spare time to visit our beautiful capital city built on the shores of Lake Tanganyika and if you can; visit some landmark sites and hills outside the capital Bujumbura. And when you go back to your respective countries, spread the word, tell your compatriots about your experience in Burundi.

 

 

  • I wish to take this opportunity to reiterate once again the commitment of the Republic of Burundi to the integration process and full cooperation within all members of the EAC, and wish once again all the participants a wonderful stay.

 

  • Finally, I would like to insist on the fact that Stability remains the most critical ingredient to the future development and prosperity of our community. Let’s therefore stand guard and ensure that peace which now overall reigns through the nations of EAC is safeguarded.
  • With these remarks, I now wish to declare the 11th Edition of the EAC Military Games and Cultural Event 2017 officially opened here in the Capital City of Burundi.

 

God bless you all and God bless the East African Community!

Thank you for your kind attention!