Members of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), sitting in Kigali, yesterday pushed for the quick admission of the Republic of South Sudan to the East African Community (EAC).
They expressed their sentiments during a debate that ensued shortly after Uganda’s Daniel Kidega, submitted a resolution of the Assembly to congratulate the government and people of South Sudan upon their landmark independence on July 9.
South Sudan applied to join the bloc even before it got independence. Some MPs suggested that the bloc should not wait for it to re-apply, after gaining independence – but to consider the previous application.
Gervase Akhaabi urged the EAC Council of Ministers “to support and encourage South Sudan to quickly come to where they belong, that is, the EAC.”
“We should also help South Sudan in other spheres, not just in politics. We should help them develop economically,” Akhaabi noted as he stressed the need to “establish firm infrastructure so that the people of South Sudan and EAC can integrate more intimately”.
Clarkson Karan, another lawmaker said: “We as East Africa, must act fast and ensure that we work together with our brothers. The Secretariat should not wait for South Sudan to re-apply,” he suggested.
After taking oath, during the same plenary session, Musa Sirma, Kenya’s new Minister for EAC Affairs, also added his voice to the issue.
“It is time now that we should fast-track the process and bring on board our brothers and give the people of South Sudan what they have longed for, for years.” Sirma said:
According to the resolution read by Kidega, the regional parliament called on the Assembly to resolve to work closely with the Council, the Summit and the government of South Sudan, to strengthen ties between the bloc and South Sudan.
The resolution was unanimously adopted.