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DRC Now Part of East African Family

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The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)  on Tuesday officially joined the East African Community (EAC) becoming its 7th Partner State.

However, back home the M23 rebels had reportedly surrounded Bunagana town and threatening to take control of this border town in North Kivu Province.

On Tuesday, 29th March, 2022 , the Summit of EAC Heads of State at their 19th Ordinary Summit admitted DRC following recommendation by the Council of Ministers.

“We have concluded the regional processes for admitting new members as provided for in our rules of procedure,” said Chairperson of the Summit, President Uhuru Kenyatta.

President Uhuru, informed the meeting that DRC had met all the set criteria for admission as provided for in the Treaty for the establishment of the EAC.

“Admitting DRC into EAC is historic for our Community and the African continent at large. It demonstrates the agility of the Community to expand beyond its socio-cultural boundaries to new people and trade-centered partnerships and collaboration, thus increasing trade and investment opportunities for the citizens,” President Uhuru said.

The Summit took the decision to admit DRC into EAC after adopting the report of the Council of Ministers that had recommended the same.

DRC President Felix Tshishekedi termed it a historical day for DRC, stating that it paves the way for the harmonization of the country’s policies with those of the EAC.

President Tshishekedi said that DRC was looking forward to increased Intra-EAC trade and reduction of tension amongst the EAC Partner States.

“It is the desire of DRC to see the creation of a new organ in the EAC that is solely focused on mining, natural resources and energy that will be based in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo,” he said.

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda said, “I call upon EAC Organs and Institutions to accelerate the integration of DRC into the Community. Rwanda is committed to support the process.”

Addressing the Summit, EAC Secretary General Hon. (Dr.) Peter Mathuki,said, “The EAC now spans from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean making the region competitive and easy to access the larger African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).”