East Africa: Leaders Address Security Threats

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EACTHE East African Community (EAC) Summit of Heads of State has vowed to urgently upscale implementation of relevant counter measures and directives to address current and emerging security threats in the region.

In particular, the summit directed partner states to expedite implementation of interventions contained in the revised strategy for regional peace and security, as well as those in the counter terrorism strategy.

The 16th Ordinary Summit held in Nairobi, Kenya on Friday, brought together heads of state of member states and saw President Jakaya Kikwete assuming the EAC Chairmanship from the host President Uhuru Kenyatta.

According to a joint communique, the summit reviewed the current security situation in the region and also considered the security state in South Sudan.

“The summit noted and welcomed the agreement on the establishment of the transitional government of national unity and also called for immediate and permanent ceasefire signed on February 1, this year, in Addis Ababa by the two parties in the conflict.

“The summit also called upon the two parties to abide by the terms of the agreement and ensure sustainable peace, security and resettlement of all returnees and internally displaced persons,” read the communique in part.

The summit further welcomed and supported efforts to reunite the Southern People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party being held in Arusha and saluted Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and ANC for facilitating the re-unification process.

The theme of the summit was ‘Deepening and Accelerating Integration: Towards Political Federation and also received an annual report of the council of ministers covering the period of November 2013 and 2014 and noted the steady progress made in the implementation of the programmes of the community.

Among others, the summit also approved and signed the protocol to extend jurisdiction of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) covering trade and investment, as well as matters associated with the implementation of the protocol on the establishment of the East African Monetary Union (EAMU).

Meanwhile, Dar es Salaam joined four other capitals of EAC member states at the official launching of Video Conference Communication System, an event graced by the Chief Secretary, Ambassador Ombeni Sefue.

Speaking at the event which was simultaneously held in Bujumbura (Burundi), Kigali (Rwanda), Kampala (Uganda), Nairobi (Kenya) and Dar es Salaam, Ambassador Sefue said the application of the system could not be overstated.

“Video conferences will not only reduce costs of travel previously incurred in need of joint meetings, but also speed up consultation on matters of mutual interest among EAC member states.

The system will increase efficiency in decision making and implementation of agreed matters,” Amb. Sefue observed. Speaking from the coordination office in Nairobi where the launch was officially done out by President Kikwete who is the new Chairman of the Heads of State Summit, urged citizens in the region (EA) to take advantage of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

Mr Kikwete greeted government officials in the respective capitals to prove the effectiveness of the system.

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