By Andrew Irumba
For more than three years now, Somalia applied to join the regional integration of East African Community to join Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan but has never been given green light due to unrevealed reasons yet.
Somalia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdisalam Hadliye insisted that a committee from the organization would soon visit the country to assess the country’s readiness to join the bloc.
Mr Hadliye strongly denied that the members of EAC denied Somalia’s application due to the security situation in the country.
According to the treaty establishing the EAC, new members are admitted if they respect the principles of democracy, rule of law, accountability, transparency and social justice.
The treaty also says the countries must, besides being geographically near any of the existing members, practice “equal opportunities, gender equality as well as the recognize, promote and protect rights in accordance with the provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.”
On the same day Somalia’s application had been denied, the EAC members approved the new membership of war-ravaged South Sudan.
This February 28th, the regional member states will seat in Uganda to among others, discuss whether war ravaged Somalia should be adopted by the regional bloc.
On today’s debate at Pan-African Pyramid, we now ask; should EAC approve Somalia’s application to join them? Free Entry to All. Time:5-9pm, Venue-Fairway Hotel.