Kenya: Somalia seeks EAC membership.

Halkaan ka akhri

The Transitional Federal Government of Somalia has made an official request to join East Africa‘s economic bloc, Kenyan officials said on Tuesday.

A statement from Kenya President Mwai Kibaki‘s office said Somalia has formally asked to join East African Community (EAC) comprising of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.

“The Republic of Somalia has placed an official request to be admitted to the East African Community.

The request was today made in a letter to President Mwai Kibaki, who is the current Chair of the EAC,” the statement said.

The statement said the letter was delivered to Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula by Ambassador Abdi Hakim Ali Yasin, the special envoy of Somalia’s government President Sheikh Shariff.

Wetangula who received the letter assured the people of Somalia that the request would be considered by the necessary EAC organs and forwarded to the EAC Summit during its next meeting.

“The request follows major developments in Somalia that have seen the country begin the journey to stability and peace after several years of civil strife,” it said.

The latest development comes three months after the five-nation regional economic bloc rejected an application by Sudan to join the EAC due to its geographical location.

The African leaders who met in Bujumbura in November last year for the EAC summit said the application by Khartoum did not meet the criterion on geographical proximity and contiguity and thus could not qualify to be admitted into the bloc.

The EAC has also pending application by the Republic of South Sudan which has been waiting since last year for the regional leaders to examine it before being admitted to the EAC membership.

The Bujumbura summit directed the Council of Ministers from the five member states to verify the application by the world’s newest state on the basis of the criterion for admitted of foreign countries and submits its recommendations to the tenth extra ordinary meeting which may be held later this year.


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