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Burundi, South Sudan on agenda as EAC leaders head to Dar

Museveni and Magufuli before a meeting on Wednesday. Museveni is already in Dar for the EAC Summit. PPU PHOTO
Museveni and Magufuli before a meeting on Wednesday. Museveni is already in Dar for the EAC Summit. PPU PHOTO

The situation in South Sudan and Burundi will be top of the agenda as the 17th Extra-Ordinary Meeting of the Summit of the EAC Heads of State takes place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on Thursday.

The two day extraordinary summit of the East African Community (EAC) will also consider the Council of Ministers Report on the EU-EAC Economic Partnership Agreement and swear in the new Deputy Secretary General from Rwanda Christophe Bazivamo.

Tanzania is reluctant to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU) until the country’s demands that focus on the best interests of its people are met.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Dr Augustine Mahiga said Tanzania would only sign the EPA agreement after crucial amendments are included

Ahead of the summit, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni was received and held a meeting with Tanzania’s John Magufuli at State House, Dar es Salaam. (SEE LIVE UPDATES BOTTOM)

The summit will consider the situation in Burundi where President Mkapa’s Report on the Inter-Burundi Dialogue will be discussed, and South Sudan, where the UN Security Council on Saturday urged Salva Kiir ‘s government to drop its opposition to the deployment of a regional protection force to beef up a large UN peacekeeping mission in the war-scarred country.

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The plan is to send an additional 4,000 troops to the 13,000-strong mission, known as UNMISS.

The July clashes between forces loyal to Kiir and those of rebel leader Riek Machar who fled the country, threatened a fragile peace accord signed last year to end a devastating 18-month civil war which left tens of thousands dead.

Early this week, Sudan’s full membership of the EAC was confirmed. They on Monday deposited the instrument of ratification on the Accession to the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community to the Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC) Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha.

Depositing the instrument of ratification with the Secretary General of the East African Community means the Republic of South Sudan is now a new family member of the East African Community with full and equal rights, obligations and privileges.

‘’I would, therefore, like to seize this opportunity to commend President Salva Kiir, the Government and the entire people of the Republic of South Sudan for their tireless efforts and commitment that enabled them to achieve this important milestone”,  the Secretary General said at a short ceremony.

Mfumukeko disclosed  that now that South Sudan have taken a step further, the Secretariat will seek guidance from the Council of Ministers on developing a detailed roadmap for integrating the Republic of South Sudan into the ongoing EAC projects and programmes.

President Kiir and John Pombe Magufuli signed the Treaty of Accession on April 15 this year in Dar es Salaam. South Sudan had been given up to 30th of September, 2016 to deposit the instrument of ratification with the Secretary General of the East African Community.

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