India to engage 12 African nations in joint military exercise

New Delhi: India will engage with 12 African nations in a joint military exercise in Pune in March this year.

The final planning for the exercise named ‘Indian Africa Field Training Exercise (IAFTX)-2019’ will be done at a conference in Pune on 23-24 January. The conference will also work out the modalities for the exercise.

Indian Army informed through a press-release that the delegates from Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, South Africa, Tanzania, Namibia, Mozambique, Uganda, Niger, Zambia will attend the conference.

The exercise is happening at a time when the Chinese military has spread its tentacles in Africa through military hardware cooperation. The joint training exercise is being conducted with more than a dozen African countries and India.

“It aims at synergizing humanitarian action and joint peace operations. The initial planning conference for the exercise was held in December 2018,” the release said.

The IAFTX-2019 is perceived as a positive step towards growing political and military ties with the member nations of the African continent and is expected to boost the strategic cooperation between the countries.