Thursday, March 3, 2016
NAIROBI (HOL) – Members of the East African Community (EAC) have rejected a bid by Somalia to join the organization shortly after South Sudan’s membership was approved, saying that the country was unable to meet the organization’s membership requirement as a result of insecurity.
EAC, an intergovernmental organisation of six countries in the African Great Lakes group cooperates in the areas of trade, travel, tourism and harmonization of tax regimes and other regulations. The organization is also an integral part of the African Economic
The development had dealt a big blow to the Somali government long-running’s efforts to secure EAC’s membership which it considered as an important opportunity which could strengthen the country’s trade links with the rest of the region.
However, Somalia’s government had protested the decision, saying that the horn of Africa nation had fulfilled most of the requirements, calling the conditions set forth by EAC leaders as ‘minors’.
“We have fulfilled most of the important requirements, including the issue of taxation – therefore, I don’t think that the issue of insecurity was a considerable condition.” said Abdisalam Hadliye, Somalia’s foreign minister in an interview with the BBC Somali Service Thursday.
Mr. Hadliye indicated his country’s willingness to meet the remaining conditions to secure membership in the community.
Despite the relative stability in the capital since the ouster of Islamist militants from Mogadishu and surrounding regions, the group continues deadly guerrilla attacks across large parts of the country.
The group’s fighters have stepped up attacks in recent months and carried out three deadly attacks in the country since last week, killing at least 50 people and wounded dozens of others.