South Sudan Officially Joins EAC

South Sudan on Friday officially joined the East African Community (EAC) becoming the sixth country in the bloc after series of negotiations since the country applied for membership just four months after it gained independence in 2011.

South Sudan Officially Joins EAC
President Kiir signing the treaty of accession for joining EAC [Photo by Jok P. Mayom]

By Jok P Mayom

JUBA, 16 April 2016 [Gurtong]- The Heads of State met and signed the treaty of accession in Dar el-Salaam, Tanzania on Friday.

“President Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan, and Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, President of the united Republic of Tanzania also Chairperson of the EAC Summit of Heads of State have this Friday the 15th of April 2016, signed the treaty of accession of the Republic of South Sudan into the EAC in Dar Es salaam, Tanzania” reads the communiqué seen by Gurtong.

At their 17th Ordinary Summit held on 2nd March, 2016 in Arusha, Tanzania, the EAC Heads of State received the report of the Council of Ministers on the negotiations for the admission of the Republic of South Sudan into the Community and decided to admit the Republic of
South Sudan as a new member.

Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, Ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs who was the Chair of the South Sudan delegation for the negotiation said earlier in March that his country was recognized and accepted after having met the conditions by the EAC Council of Ministers.

The Summit then designated the Chairperson, President Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli of Tanzania, to sign the Treaty of Accession with the Republic of South Sudan.

H.E. James Wani Igga, South Sudan‘s 2nd Vice President who led the delegation to Arusha in March describes the accession as a historic event for South Sudan.

“……As members of the community we will enhance our cooperation with the region in many areas including; in governance, economic, political and defence areas” said Igga in Arusha on Thursday March 03rd 2016.

On Friday, Dr. Magufuli thanked President Salva Kiir for taking the initiative to formally apply for
membership to the EAC in less than four months after the country attained independence in 2011.

The Heads of State noted that the entry of South Sudan into the EAC was for the benefit of the entire region.

President Salva Kiir also thanked the Summit of EAC Heads of State for agreeing to admit his country into the East African Community.

Kiir observed that the admission into the EAC was the fulfilment of a dream held by the country’s forefathers more than 50 years ago adding that it marked a decisive shift in the country’s foreign and economic Policy.

 President Kiir applauded Magufuli for the warm and cordial hospitality extended to him and his delegation during their stay in Tanzania.

EAC Chairperson Dr. Magufuli directed the EAC secretariat to urgently develop a road map for Fast-Tracking the Integration of the Republic of South Sudan into the activities, programmes and projects of the EAC.

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organization of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania with South Sudan now adding the number of countries to six.

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