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Gov’t pays USD 3.5M to maintain EAC membership

By Kitab A. Unango and Neema Juma

The government said it has paid 3.5M USD as part of the East African Community membership fee.

Earlier, members of parliament at the East African Legislative Assembly threatened to suspend South Sudan for failing to meet its financial obligation of 30 million USD.

Deng Dau Deng, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs told reporters in Juba yesterday that the government has cleared parts of the country’s obligation.

“On this case of East Africa, we have already paid some little money last week, 3.5 million dollars,” Dau said.

Article 143 of the East Africa Community states that member country, which defaults in meeting its financial and other obligations, shall be subject to suspensions which the council Ministers will recommend to the summit.

While article 146 (1) says the summit may suspend a partner state from taking part in activities of the bloc if it fails to fulfill fundamental principles and objectives of the treaty including the failure to meet financial commitment to the community  within a period of  18 months.

Some activists and ordinary citizens said it was too early for the country to join the regional body given its inability to compete for markets and economic opportunities.

However, Dau depended the government’s decision saying the decision to join the bloc followed a thorough investigation.

“As a country, when we applied to EAC, we had discussed it at the parliament and cabinet levels and looked at both disadvantages and disadvantages. We looked at where we come from as a country and benefits that is why we joint East Africa community,” Dau explained.

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