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India-Africa military exercise 'AFINDEX' begins in Pune

The nine-day long Africa-India Field Training Exercise (AFINDEX) has commenced in Pune. (Photo: Indian Army/ Twitter)

NEW DELHI (PTI): India and 23 African nations on Tuesday began a nine-day mega military exercise in Pune with a greater aim to expand their overall military cooperation.

A number of new generation equipment manufactured in India is being used at the exercise to give a feel of their efficacy to the troops of the participating nations.

The African countries which are participating in the Africa-India Field Training Exercise (AFINDEX) include Botswana, Cameroon, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Morocco, Niger and Nigeria.

Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Seychelles, Senegal, Sudan, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe are also attending the exercise, Army officials said.

The joint exercise has been hosted by the Indian Army in keeping with India's outreach to Africa.

"The military cooperation and engagement between the participating member nations are vital for refining the interoperability and operational preparedness for UN peacekeeping operations," said an Indian Army official.

The objectives of the exercise are to continue to build upon the initiatives taken to strengthen India-Africa relations, with a focus on enhancing peace and security, said the official.

He said the joint exercise will bring out practical aspects of the theme-based training and aim to enable the participants to comprehend and put into practice the validated drills and procedures through situation-based discussions and tactical exercise.

Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande will also host an 'India-Africa Chiefs Conclave' on March 28, a day before the military exercise comes to an end.

An exhibition of indigenously developed military platforms will also be organised on March 29 by the Indian industry to showcase the country's defence manufacturing capabilities to the visiting delegates.

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