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Hon Mukasa Mbidde EALA MP

Hon Mukasa Mbidde, EALA legislator

Nine months after South Sudan joined the East African Community, questions have arisen on what kind of pace and approach the bloc will take to accommodate the world's youngest state, writes JOSEPH OLANYO.At a one day dialogue on “How South Sudan’s Admission to the EAC will Influence the Shape and Pace of the Region’s Integration” organized by Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung East Africa in Kampala on November 25, stakeholders raised various critical viewpoints on the new member of the block, and its implications on regional integration.

Policymakers, analysts, academics and civil society contend that South Sudan needs serious structural transformation and stability if it is to influence the shape and pace of EAC integration.

“South Sudan does not have functional institutions to qualify it as a state. It is simply being invited to join EAC because of the market,” said Biel Boutros Biel, executive director South Sudan Human Rights Society for Development (SSHURSA)

Biel said the South Sudanese are joining the EAC for selfish reasons. He, however, noted that there is a possibility that South Sudan may leave the EAC when it gets a functioning government.

“Let’s create stability and institutions, not those that are personalized. The stability should be the implementation of the peace accord. Removing Salva Kiir or Machar will not solve the problem of South Sudan,” Biel said.