Sunday, December 02, 2012
The East African Community (EAC) decided Saturday (December 1st) to defer membership applications from South Sudan and Somalia, Tanzania's The Guardian reported.
Somalia submitted an application in February 2012, which the EAC reviewed for the first time. The Council of Ministers will verify the information contained in the application and revisit the matter at the next summit of the EAC heads of state in 2013.
The EAC also agreed to open negotiations with South Sudan, whose application has been pending since shortly after its independence in 2011. This is not the first time their application has been considered, and the EAC reviewed a progress report from the country during this session.
The EAC treaty sets conditions for membership, including adherence to universally acceptable principles of good governance, democracy, rule of law, observance of human rights and social justice. Geographical proximity is also considered, as well as a country's ability to strengthen regional integration and maintain a market-driven economy.
"As we continue with our integration process, we need to always evaluate the factors available to us: the land area, the minerals, the water and the human resource," said Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni who chaired the discussions.