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S.Sudan to join the East African Community by the-end of this year

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By Robert Mugabe

newsdesk@greatlakesvoice.com

BUJUMBURA-BURUNDI-The 25th Meeting of the East African Council of Ministers has concluded today in Bujumbura, Burundi with the Ministers deliberating on a wide range of issues pertaining to the EAC regional integration and development process also the application of South Sudan and Somalia joining EAC.

A Verification Committee composed of 3 Experts from each Partner State and three experts from the Secretariat had been dispatched to undertake the verification of the Application of South Sudan to join EAC from 15-31 July, 2012. The overall objective of the Verification exercise was to establish the Republic of South Sudan‘s level of conformity with the Criteria for Admission of Foreign Countries into the EAC as provided under Article 3 of the Treaty.

The Council received the Verification Committee Report but noted that some Partner States still needed more time to consult on the Report with all the key stakeholders and hence decided that the Report will be considered by the 26th Meeting of the Council in November 2012. According to the resolutions of the council of EAC ministers, all member states have to give their conceit on the S. Sudan’s admission.

Somalia’s application to join the East African Community

On 28 February 2012, President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed of the Republic of Somalia submitted his country’s application to join the East African Community.

In considering Somalia’s application, the Council was mindful of the transitional nature of governance in the Republic of Somalia under the Transitional Federal Government; and the ongoing pacification efforts including the Kampala Accord Regarding the Regional Political Peace Initiative and the African Union Initiatives such as the involvement of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

Much as enlarging the country membership of the East African Community to include the Republic of Somalia may contribute to regional peace, security, stability and development, the matter calls for proper timing and wider consultations with other international players involved in the Somali peace initiatives. The Council has directed the Secretary General to submit the application of the Republic of Somalia to the Summit.

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