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    Kenya is pushing for veto powers in EAC ahead of the admission of Somalia as a new member

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    Somali Magazine October 16, 2023-Wanjiuku Maina chair of the Regional Integration now wants a review of the East African Community (EAC) Treaty in order to grant veto powers to the highest contributing partner states like Kenya.
    The Kenyan parliamentarian has tabled in the Parliament of Kenya, that the Committee on Regional Integration recommends a review of the EAC Treaty to allow partner states’ contributions to be based on their ability to pay and those who pay more to have veto powers.
    The Member of Parliament for Kipipiri constituency has also urged the founding partner states of EAC to consider paying contributions due for South Sudan and Burundi on the big brother spirit.
    “The founding partner states could also consider paying contributions due for South Sudan and Burundi on the big brother basis and review the EAC Treaty to allow partner states’ contributions to be based on the ability to pay and retention of veto power by the highest paying partner states,” reads the report of the committee chaired by Kipipiri MP Wanjiku Muhia.
    “The current financial shortages occasioned by delayed partner state contributions and dwindling development partner support continue to adversely affect the performance of all EAC institutions thus frustrating the implementation of key projects and programs meant to uplift the lives of East Africans, ” reads the report.
    EAC is a regional bloc of seven members — Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They have equal voting rights and mostly make decisions via consensus and rotational policy, rather than secret ballot.

    South Sudan, which joined the bloc in 2016, has been struggling financially to meet its obligation to the community.
    Article 146 of the EAC Treaty says that the summit may suspend a member state from taking part in the activities of the community if it fails to observe and fulfill the fundamental principles and objectives of the treaty, including failure to meet financial commitments within a period of 18 months.
    This new development comes at a time when Somalia is supposed to join EAC as the eighth member following the successful application process.
    Mid this year, East African Community (EAC) Secretary-General Peter Mathuki revealed that Somalia has made a critical step towards becoming the eighth member of the bloc.
    The EAC boss said Mogadishu had made it to the negotiations stage and expressed confidence that Somalia would be accepted into the bloc this year.
    A series of meetings were held in Nairobi and the Somalia accession is one of the top agendas.
    Dr Mathuki “The EAC conducted a verification mission to assess the readiness of Somalia to join the bloc and the report was deliberated on and shared with all partner states. Negotiations for admitting it will begin on the 22nd of this month to the 5th of September.”
    Somalia applied to join the Community back in 2012 and a verification mission was launched by EAC on January 25, 2023, to assess its readiness.

    The verification team’s report was adopted by the EAC Heads of State in Bujumbura on June 6, 2023, giving way to the Council of Ministers and the EAC Secretariat to commence the negotiations with Mogadishu.

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