By Peter Ssebulime
The Second Deputy Prime Minister, Al Haj Kirunda Kiveijinja has revealed that the East African Community (EAC) will not intervene in the dispute between Uganda and Rwanda.
Kiveijinja, who also doubles as the East African Community Affairs Minister, said they received assurance from the Ugandan and Rwandan presidents indicating that they could ably resolve the dispute, hence there is no need for the EAC intervention.
He told journalists at the Imperial Royal Hotel on Wednesday that “Until the two heads of state seek the intervention of the EAC, they will not interfere.”
His remarks come four days after Rwandan military shot dead two Uganda nationals identified as John Bosco Tuhirirwe and Job Ebyarishaga at Tabarwe Sector in Nyagatare district, for allegedly having been found smuggling tobacco into Rwanda.
In September, the two states agreed to treat each other’s citizens with civility but that the issue of free movement of persons, goods and services across the common border and other outstanding issues would be discussed at a subsequent meeting that would take place within 30 days, which has however never taken place.
Not even the agreed opening of the boarders that were closed in February this year was effected.
At the same pressed, Kivejinja revealed that preparations are in high gear for the 20th-anniversary celebrations for the existence of the East African Community.
The celebrations scheduled for November 30th, 2019, have been decentralized, whereby each member state will hold separate celebrations highlighting the achievements and shortfalls as well as setting a new plan for further development.
“For the last twenty years, the East African region has become stronger and increased in the number of members from three to six, promoted investment and security among other achievements.
The celebration will run under the theme ‘Deepening integration and widening cooperation as the EAC mark 20 years,” Kivenjinja said.
Kirunja further stated that within the last twenty years, the plans of establishing a Customs Union, a common market, a monetary Union and ultimately a political federation are serious matters that will affect integration because currently citizens from EAC use national IDs to travel within the six-member countries conveniently.