(OurSouthSudan) – Strife torn South Sudan has received membership in the East Africa Community.
South Sudan became a new member with full and equal rights, obligations and privileges after depositing the instrument of ratification on the Accession to the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community.
The ceremony took place on Monday at the EAC headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
Secretary general Liberat Mfumukeko received the document that saw South Sudan join the regional block that consists of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.
“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,” Mfumukeko said.[VIDEO] What Uhuru, Kiir agreed on during talks at Juba, South Sudan
He said the Secretariat will seek guidance from the Council of Ministers on the development of a detailed roadmap to integrate South Sudan into ongoing EAC projects and programmes.
“We shall be informing the Leardership in Juba of every step we shall be taking in this regard,” he said.
On his part, the Presidential Envoy of of South Sudan, Aggrey Sabuni said membership in EAC for South Sudan will change the nation.
“The EAC integration process is important for South Sudan. Currently, the EAC is the most advanced regional bloc on the African Continent,” he said.
He noted that South Sudan’s membership in the EAC is likely to provide concrete benefits to the country and the region as a whole.
“Deep regional integration programmes that South Sudan shall soon undertake are likely to enhance overall EAC competitiveness, which will lead to higher economic growth, employment creation and poverty reduction”.
Mfumukeko asked the media to fully participate in South Sudan’s integration by reporting objectively on the issues at hand.
He said EAC attaches great importance to the role of the media in promoting awareness, discourse and involvement of the broad range of stakeholders in the East African regional integration process.
The secretary general also told national, regional and international media to be mindful on their role to get the region and the new Partner State to embrace regional integration with passion, dedication and commitment for the benefit of the present and future generations of the Community.
Present during the ceremony was the Chair of the EAC
Council of Ministers and Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Augustine Mahiga; Kenya’s CS in the Ministry of East African Community, Labour and Social Protection, Phyllis Kandie; Burundi’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alain Aime Nyamitwe; and Burundi’s Minister in the Office of the President responsible for EAC Affairs, Leontine Nzeyimana.
Representing South Sudan were Secretary General, South Sudan EAC Secretariat, Mou Mou Athian Kuol; South Sudan Ambassador to Tanzania, Mariano Deng Ngor; Director of East African Community, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Agnes Oswaha; and Legal Counsel, Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Juba, South Sudan, Lawrence Loro Kamilo.