, ARUSHA, Tanzania, Apr 29 – The Speakers of the East Africa Member States have called for the amendment of the East African Community (EAC) Treaty and the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) Elections Act, 2011, so as to consolidate strategies aimed at ensuring sustained economic growth, peace, security and social cohesion as well as tackle unemployment within the Community.
While addressing the Forum, the Bureau Chairperson and host, Daniel Fred Kidega, who is also the Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), urged the EAC Summit to support EALA Committee on Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution report which calls for the establishment of a credible investigative mechanism to independently investigate all allegations of human rights violations in Burundi.
While enumerating the progress made by EALA towards the peace process in Burundi, Kidega noted that the Committee had held a public hearing workshop on the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Burundi recently in Tanzania, with an aim of establishing facts, following a petition by a host of East Africa Civil Society.
This came moments after House Speakers Burundi and Rwanda, traded accusations on role of each state in the Burundi Crises.
Burundi maintained that Rwanda is responsible for recruiting and training rebels in Burundian refugees’ camps, with an aim to push further, the already existing destabilization, but Rwanda maintained that due to her responsibility in hosting refugees from Burundi as well as historical and cultural ties that the two states share, they have a right to be concerned by the crisis in Burundi.
But EALA Speaker Kidega expressed confidence in the work of the Office of the Mediator in the Burundi Crisis, President Yoweri Museveni; he submitted that ‘EALA was emphatic that an all-inclusive, participatory and credible process of dialogue in and outside of Burundi would bring peace to the country’.
He welcomed the admission of Southern Sudan into the Forum and noted that, it will be represented in the next EALA Parliament expected to commence in 2017.
“With the EAC population now pegged at over 160 million, the new entry is expected to benefit the entire region,” he stated.
Tanzania’s Speaker Job Ndugai, on his part commended the peace accord brokered recently in South Sudan between President Silva Kirr and rebel leader Riek Machar.
“I congratulate them for peace accord brokered recently and wish them well. With the arrival of Riek Machar in Juba and being sworn in as Vice President the future looks prosperous,” he stated.
Kenya National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi observed that for the process towards political federation to be sustained, EAC member states have to align national political activities and trends, with regional integration objectives for deeper integration and rapid socio-economic transformation to be realized.
He added that the pre-occupation in the period ahead will be in fostering friendly relations and sustainable management of common resources among Partner States.
This, he observed will stimulate industrial and agricultural development, create employment and generate wealth, taking the region to its rightful place among the fast modernizing economies of the world.
His counterpart, Senate Speaker, Ekwee Ethuro urged for peaceful and credible elections so as to ensure that elections in the region do not become instrument of instability rather than stability, within the region.