The East African Community (EAC) and the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) jointly has organized from 27 March, a two-day meeting in the capital Bujumbura to discuss the regional challenges.
“We shall seek to develop common positions in tackling the political problems affecting some of the countries belonging to both organizations such as South Sudan and the Burundi-Rwanda political impasse”, says Zachary Muita-Muburi, the ICGLR Executive Secretary during the joint ICGLR/EAC meeting, this 27 March in the capital Bujumbura.
The same view is shared by Libérat Mfumukeko, Secretary General of the EAC: “Our main concern is how we can draw on our synergies towards finding a sustainable solution to the Burundi political impasse and respond to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Republic of South Sudan.”
The EAC Secretary says among the areas identified for a joint intervention are the development of capacities to address conflicts, refugees and humanitarian issues, promotion of democracy and good governance, fight against illegal exploitation of natural resources, promotion of the private sector and civil society as well as combating sex and gender based violence.
The ICGLR Executive Secretary says the EAC is a regional economic community committed to the promotion of the regional integration in order to transfer and foster economic development. As for the ICGLR, he says it is a regional mechanism established for the purpose of facilitating member states working with partners for political interventions to tackle peace and security challenges.
“There is necessity for the two organizations to work together in order to strengthen twin-pronged efforts to enhance peace and security in order to create a favorable environment to embark on economic development”, he says
This meeting is a follow-up to a working visit that the ICGLR conducted to the EAC headquarters in Arusha about a week ago where the ICGLR held discussions with the Secretary General on deepening relations between the two organizations. The Memorandum of Understanding that was intended to guide cooperation between both organizations was signed since 1st December 2010.