EAC news update – Bureaucrats and lawyers find way out of Khartoum’s membership application

When the application by the Bashir regime in Khartoum to join the East Africa Community became public knowledge, it put the political leaderships in Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Kampala, Kigali and Bujumbura into a dilemma of sorts. Bashirs cunning plan, to apply ahead of the South Sudan becoming independent and being able to file their own application, was not generally considered genuine and honest but thought to be aimed at creating divisions amongst the EAC countries and also to snub the new government in Juba.
Community bureaucrats and the EAC legal minds urgently sought a way out of this unenviable situation and have now come up with an escape hatch, as applicant countries must be of geographical proximity which the united Sudan WAS but the now separate North no longer is as it lacks a common border with existing EAC members. Also required by applicant countries is a range of political prerequisites, such as good governance, the rule of law and observance of human right, none of which can be said about the regime in Khartoum which leader is wanted by the ICC over alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes.
This legal guidance will be received with relief amongst the EAC Heads of State as it will allow them to return Bashirs application for the time being while attending to the expected formal request to join by the Republic of South Sudan a process which is expected to take several years to complete.
A victory of sorts it is too for South Sudan, while the current EAC leaders are let off the hook of having to actually tell Bashir what he needs to be told, that he is a pariah, has turned his country into a pariah state and is not welcome, ever, until fundamental change has taken place in the North Sudan. Watch this space.