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Groups hold a seminar to enhance understanding of EAC integration

University of Juba & South Sudan Law Society

For Immediate Release: 5 December 2012

The University of Juba and the South Sudan Law Society Organize a Seminar to Enhance National Understanding of Regional Integration in the East African Community

Between December 5 and 7, 2012, the University of Juba and the South Sudan Law Society are organizing a seminar at the Quality Hotel to enhance understanding in South Sudan of regional integration in the East African Community (EAC), targeting civil society and members of the National Assembly.

South Sudan applied to join the EAC in 2011. A verification committee composed of national experts and staff from the EAC Secretariat and national visited South Sudan to undertake a verification of the application in July 2012. The committee’s report was discussed at the EAC Summit of November 30, 2012. The overall objective of the verification exercise was to establish the Republic of South Sudan‘s level of conformity with the Criteria for Admission of Foreign Countries into the EAC.

Article 3 (3) of the EAC Treaty sets out conditions for membership including adherence to universally acceptable principles of good governance, democracy, the rule of law, observance of human rights and social justice. It stipulates that for a country to become a member, it should accept the Community as set out in the treaty; be able to contribute towards the strengthening of integration within the region; enjoy geographical proximity to and inter-dependence with the partner states, as well having a market-driven economy.

It is critical that citizens and their parliamentary representatives have accurate information on the EAC and the accession procedure so they can input into the process. However little information is currently available in South Sudan. This seminar is an attempt to fill this knowledge gap.

The seminar aims to:
• enhance understanding of the EAC in general;
• increase knowledge of the EAC accession procedure for new states and options available for South Sudan;
• facilitate sharing of experiences with other EAC member states and civil society on their experiences in joining the EAC;
• Facilitate objective analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of South Sudan’s membership of the EAC and identify a way forward for engagement by civil society and parliamentarians with the government and EAC on the same.

The seminar is co-funded by Trade Mark East Africa, South Sudan office and the Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa (OSIEA).

To facilitate sharing of experiences, experts on regional integration and civil society from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda are attending and presenting papers. Government representatives from Rwanda and Burundi will also share their experiences of joining the EAC in 2007 and the impact to date.

For more information please contact:
Dong Samuel Luak: 0977179570 email: dong.luak@yahoo.com
Taban Kiston Santo: 0955148989: tabankiston@gmail.com

Thank,
Peter Gai Manyuon,
Information and Communications Officer,
South Sudan Law Society (SSLS)