The East Africa Community (EAC) region’s stability must remain intact as the integration process continues to deepen, a senior official has said. Beatrice Kiraso, EAC Deputy Secretary General has urged ministers to take keen interest in EAC integration process as their sector is paramount to the rest of the processes. ‘’Instability in one country means instability for others. We should not allow this as it will undermine our integration efforts,’’ Kiraso who heads EAC Political Federation says. She emphasises that Peace and Security issues are an integral part of the two pillars of the integration process that have been successfully negotiated and concluded (Customs Union and Common Market).
Despite facilitating movement of goods and capital in EAC Partner States, Customs Union and Common Market would be used to wreck the region’s spirited integration efforts if timely measures are not put in place, experts have warned. “People should not be delayed to enjoy the Common Market Protocol recently signed by Heads of States,” she says calling upon Uganda and Tanzania to expedite National Identity Cards (IDs) acquisition process for their people.
Inter-State Security sector has been urged to take full interest in the negotiations on the third phase of integration—Monetary Union. Vices on counterfeits, money laundering, cyber-crime, piracy and smuggling of goods has denied the region the much needed revenue and will be a key focus of the third phase. “’Burundi is on the right path to recovery,” Beatrice recently told an Inter-State Security Ministerial Council Meeting in Bujumbura, Burundi. Burundi is on a positive footing after years of conflict and destruction and is expected to hold its general elections starting May 21.
On Customs Union and Common Market, Minister of State President’s Office (Good Governance), Tanzania Sophia Simba warns, “Free movement could also attract wrong characters and we must not allow this to happen.’’ She adds that the region must face to the reality and find workable solutions. She assures the EAC of Tanzania’s readiness for regional peace and tranquility. More than 10,000 weapons have been destroyed in the five Partner States through the EAC programme on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW), which is a continuous process.
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