The East African Community has accepted Somalia’s application to join the regional bloc. The Federal Republic of Somalia made its application to join the EAC in 2012.
Somalia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperations said in a statement that the adoption of the verification report is a noteworthy milestone and a testament that Somalia is ready and fully equipped to join the EAC.
“Somalia expresses its gratitude and appreciation to the Heads of State and General Secretariat of the East African Community for the communiqué that was made public and reaffirms its determination and desire to engage in productive negotiations that would hasten the EAC’s confirmation of its membership and formal admission,” the statement said.
H.E President @HassanSMohamud: “The historic adoption of the Verification Report by the EAC Heads of State highlights Somalia’s commitment and readiness to join and meaningfully contribute to a stronger EAC.” pic.twitter.com/ILwQb5cVST
— Villa Somalia (@TheVillaSomalia) June 1, 2023
The EAC launched the Verification Mission to assess Somalia’s readiness to join the community in January 2023.
The Verification Report was reviewed by the EAC Heads of State at the 21st Extraordinary Summit held on May 31 in Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura.
“The Heads of State deliberated on and adopted the report of the verification of the application of the Federal Republic of Somalia to join the East African Community earlier circulated to the EAC partner states,” read part of the Communique.
Subsequently, the EAC secretariat and the Council were directed to commence negotiations with the Federal Republic of Somalia with immediate effect and report to the next Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State.
EAC Heads of State deliberated & adopted the report of the verification of the application of the Federal Republic of Somalia to join the EAC and directed the EAC Secretariat & Council to commence negotiations with Somalia immediately and report to the next Ordinary Summit. pic.twitter.com/N1TmxgSykq
— East African Community (@jumuiya) June 2, 2023
EAC member states are Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and the latest entrant, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which joined in April 2022.
In May, Kenya agreed to reopen its border points with Somalia in Mandera, Lamu and Garissa by August to end a 12-year barricade that commenced in 2011.
“We have resolved that the border between Kenya and Somalia will be reopened in phases…First to open is Bula Hawa in Mandera in 30 days. Next is Liboi (Mandera) in 60 days and Ras Kamboni (Lamu) in 90 days,” Interior Cabinet Secretary Prof Kithure Kindiki and his Somalia counterpart Mohamed Ahmed Sheikh said after high-level consultations in Nairobi as reported by The East African.