PUBLISHED ON July 25th, 2014


AN East African Community (EAC) high level delegation in Juba, South Sudan, has been assured that the current conflict in some parts of the country will soon be sorted out. South Sudan Vice-President, Mr James Wani Igga, affirmed that Jubans would soon resume their normal lives and enjoy the fruits of an independent nation.

A statement from the EAC mission in South Sudan, which was made available here, said the Sudanese leader was officiating at a meeting between the EAC mission and the South Sudan Accession Technical Sub -Committees at the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs in the country’s capital, Juba.

Mr Igga said South Sudan, being a young nation, still needed support and integration from the ‘older’ nations within the region.

“Don’t reject us, we want that political, economic and social alliance with the East African Community partner states,” he said.

The leader, whose country’s application to join EAC is still hanging in the balance due to ongoing conflict, added that they were determined to take drastic reforms in order to meet the benchmarks of the East African Community.

“We have institutions in place but we need transformation and reforms in all these institutions,” stated the vicepresident, adding:

“We shall learn a great deal from the EAC on checks and balances, combating corruption, as well as observing discipline in all the ministries and sectors.”

The vice-president reaffirmed the policy of the government of South Sudan to join the EAC and urged the technocrats to be in the forefront in sensitizing the masses and propagating the need for the country to join the regional bloc while taking into account the overall benefits the country would accrue from joining it.

Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of South Sudan, disclosed that President Salva Kiir had signed a decree on March 13, 2014 appointing a high level committee to oversee South Sudan’s accession to the EAC.

He said the committee had started its work by undertaking several preparatory activities for the negotiations. He reiterated the need for South Sudan to join the EAC, a regional bloc that was performing and visible.

Mr Tisa Sabuni, minister of Finance and Economic Planning, stated that four technical subcommittees had been formed on legal, security and political affairs; trade, finance, economic and productive sectors; environment, health, education and culture, and infrastructure and services.

A secretariat had also been established to coordinate the work of the technical teams. EAC Secretary General, Dr Richard Sezibera, informed the meeting that negotiations would be at both technical and ministerial levels and urged the technocrats nominated to the negotiation team to give proper guidance to their superiors.

He commended all development partners who continued to stand with South Sudan at its hour of need, adding that return to peace and stability in the country would accelerate the negotiation process, and urged all warring parties as well as the partners to redouble efforts to end the conflict and invest in the socio-economic development of the people of South Sudan.

Source: Daily News

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