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The East African : October 26th 2013
The EastAfrican NEWS OCTOBER 26 - NOVEMBER 1, 2013 11 It is a bipartisan approach without necessarily sweeping the events of 2007/8 under the carpet. We killed each other but some people are still saying that it is too soon to put things on the table for reconciliation and would instead reopen old wounds.” Richard Onyonka, Kenyan MP rial integrity. “It is a bipartisan approach without necessarily sweeping the events of 2007/8 under the carpet,” said Mr Onyonka. “We killed each other but some people are still saying that it is too soon to put things on the table for reconciliation and would instead reopen old wounds.” The report also suggests that both Houses of Parliament should defer any discussions on pulling out of the ICC to after the meeting of the state parties to the Rome Statute, which Kenya has been pushing for but for which it is yet to secure a date. The MPs argued in the docu- KEY DEVELOPMENTS Plea is up for discussion Kenya’s plea to defer the cases against President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto are set to come up for discussion and a possible vote before the United Nations Security Council. Accused suffer setback ICC’s Appeal Chamber upheld an appeal by ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, overturning an earlier decision that had excused Mr Ruto from continuous appearance during the trial. Kenyatta lodges fresh application On Friday, President Kenyatta’s legal team lodged a fresh application asking for a deferral of his case to February 12 next year as opposed to the scheduled November 12. spills ove≥ resume but vowed to protect its territory from imminent attack. Both the rebels and the military claimed to have been attacked first. Both the M23 spokesperson, Vianney Kazarama, and FARDC spokesperson Olivier Hamuli claimed their positions were attacked first. The United Nations Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo (Monusco), corroborated the government’s statement. This has however served to raise the possibility of hostilities erupting again since the rebels claim the UN force sides TURN TO PAGE 12 Soldiers of the United Nations Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo (Monusco) sit on the top of tanks at a military post in Kibati, 10km from Goma. Picture: AFP across suggests that it would be critical for the National Assembly and the Senate to provide bipartisan backing for the application. It says that a bipartisan motion in this regard would send a strong message to the Security Council that this is a national matter that enjoys broad domestic support. Richard Onyonka, the MP for Kitutu Chache, who is part of the group supporting a bipartisan approach, said there was a need for a Kenyan-driven solution to the ICC cases, anchored in ensuring justice for the victims and fostering national reconciliation while preserving Kenya’s sovereignty and territo- ment that Kenya and many African countries have been strong advocates of the ICC and it is therefore not good for the country to be seen to be withdrawing from the court as that would be seen as supporting impunity. They suggest that the Na- tional Assembly and Senate ask the government to convey the message to that meeting that if amendments are not made, the legislature would go ahead with plans to withdraw. The Kenyan parliament voted on September 5 to withdraw the country from the Rome Statute. “Tactfully, the threat to end membership has worked,” says the document,” but this should not proceed to the next stage of withdrawal. “Instead, as the African Union has proposed, Kenya and others should seek to amend the Statute during the meeting of state parties.” Celebrations to mark South Sudan’s independence on July 9, 2011. Pic: File Talks on S Sudan’s ent≥y to EAC sta≥t Novembe≥ By MUTHOKI MUMO The EastAfrican SOUTH SUDAN’s membership to the East African Community (EAC) is inching closer with negotiations between the country and representatives from the bloc’s member states set to start early next month. Each of the five EAC part- ner states has nominated three experts to sit at the negotiation table, with a team from South Sudan in forums that are expected to begin on November 7. The negotiators will be charged with developing a programme and recommendations for South Sudan’s entry into the EAC. “They [South Sudan] have written to us confirming that they will be attending the negotiation meetings in Arusha. The meeting will be key in determining whether, when and how South Sudan will join the EAC,” said EAC Deputy Secretary General for Planning and Infrastructure, Enos Bukuku. In November 2011, months after becoming Africa’s newest state, South Sudan submitted an application to join the EAC. Since then, the country has been going through the paces as its bid for membership is processed by the Community. The Community sent a veri- fication committee to South Sudan in July 2012 to assess the country’s ability to meet the membership criteria set out in Article 3 of the EAC Treaty. Despite concerns about the development level of government institutions in the country, the verification report was approved by the Heads of State Summit last year. Ministers concerned with EAC affairs in the five countries then directed the Secretariat to convene a team that would begin the negotiation processes with South Sudan. After the technocrat’s meeting next month, recommendations will be forwarded to principal secretaries from EAC affairs ministries in the five countries before ministerial negotiations begin. Dr Bukuku said that the veri- fication process for Somalia, which had also applied to join the EAC, is yet to commence. The entry of South Sudan into the Community would expand the region’s market growing the population by 10 million to about 150 million people. Kenya and Uganda stand to benefit as they trade the most with the landlocked country. “South Sudan’s economic in- terests are best routed through East Africa. The advantages of co-ordinating social-economic policy and opening up the South Sudanese market will be immediately felt by businesses in Kenya and Uganda,” said United States International University international relations scholar, Prof Macharia Munene. Faststracking However, the process could drag on significantly. Although the countries have made a commitment to fasttrack South Sudan’s membership, experts point out that the process will take at least four years. Dr Bukuku said that the EAC partner states will have to hold South Sudan’s hand as it builds the institutions and formulates the policies that will be necessary before it fully meets membership criteria. In its report, the verifica- tion committee noted that key institutions relating to finance and macro economic planning were not fully operational. Furthermore, there were disagreements in government on the EAC membership application. While some officials pushed for immediate membership in the EAC, others thought that the country should simply strengthen bilateral ties with individual EAC member states. “South Sudan is coming out of conflict. They need time and space to build institutions of governance. They will be assisted in doing this by international development organisations and also by the EAC,” said Mr Bukuku. Similar grace periods were granted to Rwanda and Burundi when they applied for EAC membership.
October 21st 2013
November 3rd 2013