ARUSHA, TANZANIA, Sudan has again applied to join the East African Community (EAC) after failing in an earlier bid in 2011.
In a letter which Sudan sent to the EAC, which has its headquarters in this northern Tanzanian city, the country has asked to join the six-nation sub-regional bloc in a move which will see existing members Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and South-Sudan linked to the Red Sea.
Khartoum had applied to become a member of the EAC through an official application sent to Arusha in November 2011, but the country was asked to hold on until South Sudan joined first, so that Sudan could also have a common borderline with an existing EAC member State.
Sudan’s application was turned down because among the requirements for a country to become an affiliate State of the Community, is for it to share a common border with any of the already existing members, explained Simon Owaka, the EAC Senior Public Relations Officer.
The Summit of EAC Heads of State rejected Sudan’s application because it failed largely to meet one criterion for the admission of a new partner State into the Community, namely, geographical proximity to and inter-dependence between the aspiring country and the partner States, added Owaka.
According to the official, since Khartoum now shares a border with South Sudan — which formally acceded to membership of the EAC in September 2016 — it qualifies to join the Community but needs to apply afresh since the situation has just changed.
Owaka said: The requirement for geographical proximity and other criteria notwithstanding, admission of a new country into the EAC is the prerogative of the Summit of Heads of State. It is also up to any country that wants to join the Community to make its own decision on the matter.”
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK