Civil society launches a joint forum
By Elia Joseph Loful
The South Sudan and East Africa Community (EAC) civil society have launched a joint forum for South Sudan and the exiting corporation of East Africa yesterday.
The occasion which was opened by the undersecretary for East Africa Affairs in the Ministry of Trade, Industry and EAC Affairs Mou Mou Athian was attended by over 60 members of civil society organizations and government official.
In his opening remarks, Mou Mou Athian said the importance of the launch was to allow South Sudan civil Society to be integrated into East Africa Community.
“It is a requirement by the East Africa Community that civil society play their role to make sure in every commitment made at the level of partner stage have to be implemented,” Athian said.
He said the civil society was a crucial factor that will be able to push for the integration of the agenda.
“They civil society is a crucial factor in helping us in pushing the integration agenda in the region,” he said.
Regarding the membership fees payment by South Sudan to EAC, the undersecretary said the government has so far paid over $ 6 million for the membership subscription flashing off earlier reports that South Sudan was sanctioned.
“The call for fees was not specifically for South Sudan in particular, and up to now the government has paid $ 6 million and there was nothing called sanction, we were just reminded to pay the normal requirement,” Athian stressed.
Jame David Kolok who doubles as the executive director for Democracy Foundation and Accountable governance and Acting Chairperson for East Africa civil society South Sudan said the objective of the program was to educate the civil society about the East African Community and to know the process of integration, as well as an opportunity for the body to strengthen the forum.
“The purpose of this launching is intended to educate the South Sudan civil Society about the East Africa Community and about the process of integration. Secondly as an opportunity to strengthening the forum and to make sure that we come up with a clear vision and mission,”Kolok said.