In Summary
  • Council of Ministers to verify membership requests to join East African Community.
  • Heads of State summit says the earliest Somalia and South Sudan can join the regional bloc is next year.

Somalia and South Sudan will have to wait longer to join the East African Community, according to a communique.

“The earliest they can be admitted to the regional bloc is next year,” said a statement issued after the 16th Heads of State Summit that ended in Nairobi on Friday evening.

South Sudan’s bid to join the community suffered a setback following the break out of a civil war pitting forces loyal to sacked Vice-President Riek Machar against those supporting President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

East Africa Community (EAC) Secretary-General Richard Sezibera said the verification of Somalia’s request is yet to start. He said preparations with the government of Somalia have not been finalised.

“The summit directed the Council of Ministers to handle the matter and report back at the next summit,” he added.

President Kiir attended the summit as a guest.

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