South Sudan is not only the youngest nation in the world today, but also the newest member of the East African Community (EAC) having joined the bloc in March 2016 albeit against a backdrop of disapprovals regarding the country’s membership qualification.
As a member of EAC, South Sudan is expected to adhere to principles of good governance, democracy, the rule of law and observance of human rights and social justice as laid down in the Community’s Constitution. There is a reason why this is important.
Good governance and political stability is necessary for any economy to thrive, be it in a country of a bloc like EAC. In the absence of peace and stability, and in the face of anarchy, the environment will not be conducive for business or investment, and the economy will be affected.
The East African economy, which is currently made up of six member states – Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan with a total population of about 145.5 million people and GDP of US$147.5 billion according to the EAC Facts and Figures 2015 report, is increasingly under immense threat as a result of the recurrent civil strife in South Sudan.
The latest commotion in Juba, the world’s youngest nation, has left many alarmed and angry, among them Ban Ki Moon, UN secretary-general, and Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, both of whom have expressed concerns.
The fresh fights that erupted on 10th July 2016 in capital Juba follows a peace accord, inked on 26th August 2015 between incumbent President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, ex-renegade who shortly became the vice president upon his return from exile in April 2015, following two years of bloodbath that claimed more than xxxx lives and forced over 2.5 million out of their homes according to the UN refugees’ agency.
It is a betrayal of the people of South Sudan, a country that, in the words of the UN secretary-general, has suffered unfathomable atrocities since December 2013 when the first round of battle broke out in the country. Most critically, Kiir and Machar are derailing the growth of East Africa’s economy.