The Malawi army has played down speculations that their current comprehensive military training with the United States Africa Command troops in the country is in readiness to the lake boarder row with Tanzania.

Malawi Defence Force (MDF) Assistant Public Affairs Officer Paul Chiphwanya made the remarks in Lilongwe, where some of the training is taking place.

Chiphwanya said: “This training has been running and this [Malawi] is the fourth country where it is taking place. The planning for this training has taken a long time; it started some time last year where this issue was not even there.

“This training is also a routine or a normal training which takes place whenever we are at first time. In most cases we train some partners, with Americans, or ourselves.

“So this training is not in preparation to anything, what we are preparing is how to handle any crisis that might fall into the country and how we can handle it by using various government agencies that are going to get involved during this training.”

The training exercise being conducted under the code name Epic Guardian 13 is taking place across the country in the MDF barracks and military training schools.

The training, which started on Monday to end on May 17 is the first of its kind to take place in the country involving hundreds of US Africa Command special operation forces and those of the MDF.

It aims at building capacity for the country’s military need to handle disasters when they arise and ensure that citizens are protected at all times.

US Africa Command James Rawlinson said “Epic Guardian 2013 comprehensive exercise; this is the fourth one to happen and it’s the first time in Malawi. Previously we were working with those in the East Africa. This year in Malawi what we want to do is to help development the characters capabilities.

“We bring our own training gears to help build capacity. It’s not only helping Africa to build capacities of their security forces to help take care of their problems on their own, it also helping our troops to get better when they have to do an operations.”

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