Gov’t denies suspension from EAC bloc
By: Kidega Livingstone
The government has denied the allegation that it has been suspended from the East African Community bloc for failing to meet its obligation.
Speaking to Juba Monitor in an exclusive interview, Mou Mou Athian Undersecretary at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and East African Community Affairs described the report as an allegation.
“I don’t know why people are in hurry to suspend us. We have not been suspended and we are not going to be suspended,” said Mou Mou.
“A member of East African Community cannot just be suspended, there must be a process that must be put in place before any suspension is done,” he added.
Last year it was reported that South Sudan faced suspension from the community because it has failed to meet the requirements after joining the community.
According to Mou Mou suspension has to be approved by the Council of Ministers then it goes to heads of states’ summit.
He explained that before suspension, the community would give the affected member state another twelve months to sort things out.
“We have made a commitment through treaty of obsession with the East African community, that means South Sudan is bound by the treaty of East African community where it has obligation to implement it,” Mou Mou stressed.
He said South Sudan as a member state should have started full implementation by 1st October 2019 since the country has been implementing other obligations.
In a separated statement, Mou Mou disclosed that South Sudan was going to lift visa fees to all six member states to allow free movement of South Sudan with the community.
“We have to uplift the visa for all the East Africans so that they can move freely and we also move freely, appropriate institutions in these two countries are now in talks that will soon be formalized into full implementation of theses requirement,” he said.
“This is yet to be done because talk is ongoing, we have expected to uplift the visa charges but there are many technical things that need to be sorted out. Sooner than later everybody will move free in the six partner’s states of East Africa,” Mou Mou explained.
He said South Sudan started to implement custom union protocol as obligations that involved all institutions of government, and that each institution has a role to play.
“We should be streamlining so that we can start to implement it, otherwise we can violate some of the obligations that we pledged to meet,” he added.
Mou Mou emphasized that after admission to East African Community, South Sudan was given three years to fully implement the custom union protocol and common market protocol.
He said immediately after the admission to the community three partner states of Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda lifted Visa fees for South Sudanese. But two countries did not, that is Kenya and Uganda.
“Of course we coordinated as an office but it will be done by the Ministry of Interior and the concerned department like nationality and passport,” he said.