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As part of India’s increasing defence ties with African countries, the Indian Army chief, Gen Manoj Pande, embarked on a four-day official visit to Tanzania, on Monday.
The visit, which is expected to reinforce the long-standing defence ties between the two countries, coincides with the 2nd India Tanzania Mini DEFEXPO being conducted at Tanzania’s largest city Dar es Salaam. The exhibition will showcase the growing prowess of India’s indigenous defence-industrial complex.
Gen Pande is scheduled to visit Dar es Salaam, the historical city of Zanzibar, and Arusha. He will engage in discussions and meetings with a host of dignitaries and senior officers from Tanzania. During his visit, the Army chief is likely to call on Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan.
High on the agenda are the planned meetings with the country’s defence minister, Stergomena Lawrence Tax, and chief of Tanzania’s defence force, Gen Jacob John Mkunda. The Army chief will also be visiting Zanzibar and call on Zanzibar’s President Hussein Ali Mwinyi. In addition, interaction with the commander of the 101st Infantry Brigade, Gen Saidi Hamisi Saidi, is also scheduled.
Gen Pande will also be addressing the National Defence College and interacting with its commandant Maj Gen Wilbert Augustine Ibuge and the faculty. Additionally, a meeting with Brig Gen Stephen Justice Mnkande, commandant of the Command and Staff College, Duluti is also planned during the visit.
The defence ministry said the bilateral defence relationship between India and Tanzania has been robust and thriving. The signing of the memorandum of understanding on defence cooperation in October 2003 laid a strong foundation. This cooperation was further underscored by the second meeting of the India-Tanzania Joint Defence Cooperation Committee held in Arusha, Tanzania on June 28 and 29 this year.
Both the Indian and Tanzanian armies offer vacancies for each other in professional military courses. This has helped the personnel from both countries build strong bonds, exchange ideas, and share best practices. The Tanzanian army has been consistently participating in the UN Peacekeeping training in India over the last five years. Similarly, a training team of the Indian Army has been deployed at Command and Staff College, Duluti since 2017.
Tanzanian military delegations have been regularly visiting India symbolizing the deep military cooperation between both countries.