Home | Comment & Analysis    Tuesday 27 September 2011

Turn down Khartoum’s request for East Africa membership

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By Isaiah Abraham

September 27, 2011 — The Republic of the Sudan has formally written to East African Community (EAC) leadership in Arusha for membership. The Secretariat or the Chairperson of the Bloc, the current President of the Republic of Burundi has yet to officially respond to Khartoum. The EAC was formed in 1967, but collapsed in 1977. It was revived in 2001 however. Rwanda and Burundi had since joined the community in 2007. The bloc has a population of over 130 million people, and has Gross Domestic Product of 75 US$ billion. The mission of the bloc is to deepen and widen political, economic, social and cultural integration for the people of East Africa. The leaders are slowly moving towards political integration, as economic side is shaping up.

South Sudan after it became a state was expected to join the bloc but dithered or procrastinate for reasons that are both real and imaginary. There have been debate towards that end anyway, and Juba hasn’t publicly made its position clear. But on the side of the EAC, there seem to be good will to admit South Sudan. East African Parliament has hinted that it could admit South Sudan with no much effort. Leaders of the Region have all wish that the new republic of South Sudan join them as soon as possible.

But from nowhere Khartoum jumped and leapfrogged Juba something so surprising to many. The decision by Sudan to join EAC has complicated things for the East African leadership as a whole but particularly Juba. If Juba applies now, it will put the Arusha team in an awkward position of balancing between the two requests. For instance, if Khartoum application is rejected and that of the South Sudan is accepted, Arusha will have to justify it more convincingly.

The reality though is that Khartoum request must be rejected on the basis that it has virtually nothing to ‘deepen’ or ‘widen’ with the rest of the East African Community. Khartoum is distinct and has nothing in common with the people of EAC. Juba on the other hand is preferable because of its political and social affinity with the people of East Africa. Khartoum is culturally an Arabized and Islamized one. Khartoum furthermore has no borders with the rest of the East African Community. In the future if South Sudan is admitted, the South will act as a conduit for movements of goods and people for the people of the Republic of the Sudan. For now, they should look for market elsewhere not in the East Africa.

There must be reasons why Khartoum want to join EAC bloc at this point in time, something they didn’t do for the past fifty or so years after independence in 1956. We shall casually examine a few in the next clauses. We all know that the futile economic war wage by Khartoum against South Sudan has retrospectively affected Khartoum more than the South. Khartoum economic status is in an unstoppable dive. Analysts have already predicted sharp economic deterioration in few years to come unless something is done now. For the past ten years, Khartoum has enjoy enough income through oil, and with the South packing, Khartoum is desperate to find enough money to keep support the huge army and its security organs. There is war everywhere, and this activity needs money. Khartoum thought by going East African, it liquidity problem would be addressed.

Little did they know that their application to join EAC, has raised more eyebrows and questions than answers. There is an element of theoretical dimension, something so close to political maneuver to outsmart if not to outwit and dilute South Sudan entry in to the bloc. You see, Sudan has unfinished business against the Republic of South Sudan, its avowed archival. This is how: Khartoum is aware of dilemma in which the South is in at the moment as to EAC membership. The economy of the EAC countries for the past few years has been steady and quiet impressive. South Sudan intention to join under its current economic shape is shaky. To join will mean that South Sudan must be ready to compete with the giants of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Juba is delaying for understandable reasons, and with time, it will lodge a request, something the sisters of East Africa will definitely granted.

Khartoum in this juncture wants to capitalize on this short term strategy by Juba so to scoop whatever it wants before South Sudan became an official member. Sudan understands the bitter past of the two countries and if it joins first, the South might turn away or decline to go there. There is too much bad blood between the two countries and this will not go away overnight. Juba has suffered an economic blockage for the past seven months, but impact isn’t that much as East Africa stood in for the South.

So Khartoum is cleverly playing politics in its impending difficult economic meltdown It is my wish that the regional leaders turn Khartoum away from joining the bloc, that country is a trouble maker and might cause problems to the rest of East Africa through its ideological orientation and poor partnership. They must be rejected and ask to go to Arab countries for trade or any other integration. Long live East African Community. down with Khartoum!

Isaiah Abraham lives in Juba; he can be contacted at isaiah_abraham@yahoo.co.uk



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  • 27 September 2011 13:47

    Mr. Abraham your article shows the extent of your hatred and paranoia towards Sudan. You have failed to point out one single possibility that Khartoum might be doing this for the general good of its people and economy. To strengthen its trade and relation within the region like any country would.

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    • 28 September 2011 13:28, by Moses Lemi Jada

      Dear Writer,
      This is not the right place for your comments. Let People like Mr. Abraham to talk sense.

      Sorry you did not even have an article of your own in justifying what Mr. Abraham has smartly narrated about historical political dynamics in Sudan and someone who does not even have the guard to write his/ her name should stick to the dark.

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    • 29 September 2011 08:41, by Lule

      We understand the strive of the silent majority in Sudan for their dailly bread, nothing bad with it. Just, remember the NCP general trend in politics is totally parallel to EAC Block.We have Somalia as a hot potato to handle, though it has nothing to do with EAC.The truth is obvious and Abraham is pragmatically analysing Khartoum behaviour, leave aside its paranoia & prejudice dominating Khartoum

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  • 27 September 2011 13:54

    Your argument that Sudan is doing this to gain liquidity or to make South Sudan suffer shows the extent of your prejudice. First the East African bloc is too poor to offer Sudan any liquidity, Sudan’s GDP is greater than the bloc combined - $US 98 Billion. Second the South is suffering from the so called blockade – your President and government officials have all stated that - most recently the

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    • 30 September 2011 14:51, by lope lomohidang

      The sudan government intend to join EAC what are the first elements to consider before registration, is nearby, how many KMs is the sudan from the border of EAC let them forget and think to restructure the policie

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  • 27 September 2011 21:57, by Mungu Wangu

    Abraham,I think you are almost to the point,what i know so far about Sudan is just they don’t want South Sudan to be in EAC,how comes that Sudan didn’t put up their request before Juba,Bashir is trying all ways possible to let down South Sudan which he will not succeed at all,this time the manners will determine who will go to EAC between Khartoum and Juba,
    this will not withdraw Bashir from ICC.

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    • 29 September 2011 10:30, by mabor

      i thing mungu is right , oh mr bashir south sudan is totaly out of your hand even if you connect with all african countries, than ss will even link and you will gain nothing and you will not miss icc, ah mr Bashir omer what let you asked for east africa membership while you were claiming that sudan is arab wold country live africa and go to arab world ,live sudan to darfur and Nubian.

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  • 28 September 2011 00:00, by Smooth

    Mr Abraham,
    Your article shows how shallow your thinking is. East Africa will benefit more by Sudan joining the block. it has more to offer to the AIDS and poverty sturck block.

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  • 28 September 2011 05:00, by Paduol

    Isaiah Abraham.

    I think you are absolutely right, Khartoum government find out that, they made a big mess specifically, the CPA which allow two States to have consulation on the other hand also the Darfur problems seem to stick on the door of Omar al Bashir even if they appointed second VP on the Darfur side sitll the numbers lost in Darfur are not going to be repairing back to families.

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  • 28 September 2011 08:46, by Lule

    I am not really surprised to see Khartoum running ahead of the Republic of South Sudan to join EAC block. Taking into consideration the malicious politique of the NCP through its ruling years in Sudan, they felt the pinch somewhere in their aging political skin and for sure EAC can do for them plastic surgery or give them wheel chair for some time..the Arab dictators are in ruins.This is the fear

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  • 28 September 2011 09:57, by wanibuluk ciciliba

    I don’t just enjoy all your comments about this article. The truth is that, Khartoum can not join a place it has no favour in, I mean Khrtoum is not the feather of the EA and that is all it can not be. Khrtoum also in the past years bomberded parts of EA for no good reason so how on this earth can it become part of a place it once hated? NO we don’t want to be arabized and live under seria laws.

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  • 28 September 2011 11:54, by Lule

    I am not really surprised to see Khartoum running ahead of the Republic of South Sudan to join EAC block. Taking into consideration the malicious politique of the NCP through its ruling years in Sudan, they felt the pinch somewhere in their aging political skin and for sure EAC can do for them plastic surgery or give them wheel chair for some time..the Arab dictators are in ruins.This is the fear

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    • 29 September 2011 10:41, by mabor

      there is nothing that can fear people from that because politic of arabic is too young from south sudan people , what arab organise for 20 years is just wine up by south sudan for only 2 yrs ah ah shem on that man.

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  • 30 September 2011 11:49, by michael

    Turn down Khartuom request for East Africa Membership.

    Michael.

    I think Khartuom is severely sick this time, she is between servival and death. To join East Africa membership for What or to preach torrism? If so please join Arab League.

    reply to this message

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  • 1 October 2011 04:50, by Geo

    The East African Community has an Economy of over 250 billion dollars get your facts right!!

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    S4tQw4SCf3u8xNbd1Z76wuN6Vde1aDssanyong madeira plastica composite decking You should take part in a contest for one of the best blogs on the web. I will recommend this site!

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