Somalia has renewed its interest in joining the East African Community (EAC), cementing the desire of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to stabilize ties with the neighboring countries.
President Mohamud was expected in Arusha on Thursday as a special guest to attend the 21st Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State. And Villa Somalia, his official residence, said his trip would also be about renewing his push to join the regional bloc.
“President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is leaving tomorrow (Thursday) for Arusha in Tanzania to seek support for to join the East African Community (EAC), which if possible will benefit the Somali people,” his office said.
Mr. Mohamud had attempted to join the EAC in his first term between 2012 and 2017, but the bloc initially refused the application, citing sporadic conflict and weak institutions in Somalia. But Mogadishu got back its hope after an equally troubled South Sudan was admitted in 2016.
In 2019, then President Mohamed Farmaajo reapplied alongside the Democratic Republic of Congo. Last February, the bloc decided to begin admitting Kinshasa but delayed a decision on Mogadishu, pending verification by a team of experts to determine Somalia’s readiness.