South Sudan, Burundi Tops Agenda at East Africa Heads of State Summit

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East African Community leaders are set to meet to discuss the on-going Burundi and South Sudan crises during the 17th Extra-Ordinary East African Community Summit in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Embattled South Sudan President Salvar Kiir is expected for the first time, to attend an EAC meeting representing Africa’s youngest country.

South Sudan became a full EAC member after “depositing the instrument of ratification with the Secretary General of the EAC”. South Sudan now has “full and equal rights, obligations and privileges” as an EAC member.

Agenda

The summit will among others, according to the official agenda released by the EAC secretariat be considering the EAC Council of Ministers Report on European Union (EU)-EAC Economic Partnership Agreement.

Also, the summit will consider a report by former Tanzania President Benjamin Mkapa on the Inter-Burundi Dialogue; Council Report on matters relating to the Republic of South Sudan and swearing in of the new Deputy Secretary General from the Republic of Rwanda.

South Sudan has been engulfed in a new wave of conflict since July 8, when fighting erupted near State House in the capital Juba as President Kiir and ousted Vice President Riek Machar were holding a meeting. Thousands of people have been displaced to neighbouring countries including Uganda with more than 300 people feared dead.

President Kiir recently accepted the deployment of 4,000 additional UN peacekeepers. He had initially rejected the regional protection force as a breach of the country’s sovereignty.   The force will join the 12,000 UN soldiers already in the country.

Since President Pierre Nkurunziza declared last year that he would run for a controversial third term, Burundi has seen a surge in violence which has left hundreds dead.  In July, MP Hafsa Mossi, a former Burundi government minister was shot dead in the Burundi capital, Bujumbura by unknown gunmen. Talks to resolve the impasse have not yielded much.

Source: Daily Monitor