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Parliament ratifies South Sudan’s admission to EAC

JUBA, May 24 (PNA/Xinhua) — South Sudan’s parliament has endorsed a treaty about the admission of the country to the East Africa Community (EAC), making it the sixth member state of the regional trading bloc.

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Photo courtesy of

Speaking in parliament late Monday, Philip Thon Leek, chairperson for the Specialized Committee of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said South Sudan would take advantage of the EAC membership to enhance cooperation, especially trade, with partner states.

“Since oil revenues financed more than 90 of the country’s budget, regional integration will compel South Sudan to explore other products for export such as gold, gun Africa among others,” he said.

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir inked the EAC Treaty last week.

South Sudan applied to become a member of the EAC in 2011 but it was only in October last year that the regional bloc said the country had met the threshold to be a member.

With its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania, the EAC now groups Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and South Sudan.

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Leek said that as South Sudan was in its initial stage of developing laws and polices, it could adapt some polices for the region in order to boost trade.

South Sudan expects cooperation with regional countries in large infrastructure projects like railway network and regional oil pipelines, according to the official.

“This will enable South Sudan to integrate its oil pipelines into projects in addition to transportation of imports and export cheaply,” Leek said.

South Sudan has just begun to heal from more than two years of civil war, to which former rebel leader Riek Machar’s return to Juba late last month marked an end.

His return and reconciliation with President Kiir was part of a peace agreement signed by the two in August last year under UN pressure.

Machar took up his old post as vice president on the day of his return and a transitional government of national unity was formed days later.