PUBLISHED ON March 5th, 2015

South Sudan’s EAC bid case dismissed

Arusha. The East African Court of Justice has dismissed a case against the attorneys general of the five partner states in the bloc which alleged that South Sudan was not fit to join the East African Community (EAC).

The application was filed by Patrick Ntege Walusimbi, Dan Ssenga and Mohammed Waiga — Ugandans trading in South Sudan — through their company known as Uganda Traders Association of South Sudan Ltd. The Association was initially one of the Applicants in the case until September 5, 2014 when it was struck out for non-compliance of Rule 24(4) of the Rules of Procedure of the Court which requires a case made by a cooperate body to be accompanied by documentary evidence of its existence in law.

The case was prompted by South Sudan’s application to join the bloc under Article 3(3) (b) of the Treaty on the Establishment of the EAC Treaty. The applicants opposed the application on grounds that South Sudan does not adhere to universally accepted principles of good governance, democracy, rule of law and observance of human rights and social justice as required under Article 3(3) (b) of the EAC Treaty.

They sought a declaration that the country, which gained independence in July 2011, was not a fit and proper candidate to be granted membership in the bloc. The Court in delivering the judgment held inter alia that, it is vested with jurisdiction to entertain the case and it has been persuaded and convinced by the applicants that the case discloses a cause of action under Article 30(1) of the Treaty.

Furthermore, the Court held that, the process under scrutiny duly complied with the Treaty and the Protocol for Admission to the EAC; it further stated, the directive for the commencement of negotiations was grounded in the Summit’s discretionary mandate as enshrined in Article 3(2) of the Protocol for Admission to the EAC, and it did not contravene alleged Treaty provisions.

The Court in its ruling on Friday dismissed the case with costs to the respondents.

Source: The Citizen

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