The leaders of the East African Community [EAC] have directed the council of ministers of the EAC member states to look into Somalia’s application to join the fast-growing bloc after Somalia government submitted official application to join the bloc..
“We will wok closely with Somalia. The ministers should explore things for EAC to work constructively with Somalia”, a communiqué read by EAC secretary-general Richard Sezibera.
Reports say that the decision comes as a blow to local businesspeople who will continue to face restrictions in moving goods and investment capital especially into Juba and Mogadishu which both had made an application for admission.
In 14th Ordinary Summit of EAC Heads of State in Nairobi, the EAC leaders have on the other side called for the government of South Sudan the completion of verification work which is to be done by the EAC council of ministers.
“The council of ministers should start negotiations with Juba following completion of the verification work” Sezibera added.
The East African Community comprises Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, a five-member bloc with a single market allowing free trade and movement of citizens in East Africa.
In earlier March this year Somalia has applied to join the East African Community after major developments in Somalia that have seen the country begin the journey to stability and peace after several years of civil strife.