EAC summit postponed again over South Sudan

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The 21st Ordinary Meeting of the Summit of East African Community Heads of State that had been scheduled for Saturday, 29th February, 2020 in Arusha, Tanzania was postponed to a later date.

The postponement of the 21st Meeting of the Summit comes in the wake of a request by the Republic of South Sudan, which said it was currently in the process of forming a transitional government bringing together the government and opposition groups.

Also postponed is the 41st Extra-Ordinary Meeting of the EAC Council of Ministers that was scheduled to take place from 25th to 27th February, 2020 at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha.

The 41st Council was supposed to precede and make preparations for the Summit meeting.

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Rwanda’s Minister of State in charge of the EAC, Amb. Olivier J. P. Nduhungirehe, communicated the decision to postpone the two meetings to EAC Secretary General, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko, in a letter dated 21st February, 2020.

“After consultation with the Chair of the Summit of EAC Heads of State, I have the honour to both inform and request you to notify Partner States that the above mentioned meetings (21st Summit of EAC Heads of State and 41st Extraordinary Council of Ministers) have been postponed to a later date due to the request of the Republic of South Sudan. A new date will be communicated later after consultations with EAC Partner States,” said Amb. Nduhungirehe.

In requesting for the postponement, Mr. Mou Mou Athian Kuol, South Sudan’s Under Secretary for EAC Affairs in the Ministry of Trade, Industry and EAC Affairs, said that the formation of the new Transitional Government of National Unity (ToGONU) would mean a lot of changes in the government and probably affect its organizational structure.

“With that in mind, the Hon. Minister, Paul Mayom Akech, has directed me to notify the EAC Secretariat of this challenge and that South Sudan will not be able to take part. Given the significance of the meeting, the Republic of South Sudan is requesting for a postponement until mid-March 2020.

This will allow the newly-formed government to continue with business as usual,” wrote Mr. Mou Mou to the Secretary General.

Decision making at the EAC is by consensus with quorum being constituted by the presence of all Partner States.

The absence of one Partner State would therefore mean that there would be no quorum for the Summit meeting as per the Rules of Procedure of the Summit, Rule 11.

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