President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s ambition to normalize relations with neighbors has been furthered with Somalia’s revived interest in joining the East African Community (EAC).
President Mohamud, who won the May presidential elections, was scheduled to attend the 21st Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State on Thursday in Arusha as a special guest. His official house, Villa Somalia, also said that he will be resuming his efforts to join the regional union during this trip.
According to his office, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud went to Tanzania’s Arusha on Thursday to seek support for Somalia’s bid to join the East African Community (EAC), which would, if feasible, be advantageous to the Somali people.
In his first tenure, which spanned from 2012 to 2017, Mr. Mohamud wanted to join the EAC, but the group originally rejected his candidacy, citing occasional warfare and weak institutions in Somalia. But once the equally problematic South Sudan was accepted in 2016, Mogadishu regained its optimism.
The Democratic Republic of Congo and the then-President Mohamed Farmajo submitted a new application in 2019. In February of last year, the union voted to start accepting Kinshasa but postponed a decision on Mogadishu while a team of specialists verified Somalia’s readiness.
Following a summit last year, the EAC reported “The summit noted that the verification exercise for the admission of the Federal Republic of Somalia into the East Africa Community had not been undertaken and directed the Council to follow up on the exercise.”
According to the past entrance criteria, Mogadishu might not be allowed for at least a year if the bloc starts to check Somalia’s status.
Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, and DR Congo are member states of the EAC. When the nations fulfill the requirements outlined in the 1999 Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community, they are admitted as members of the bloc.
These prerequisites include upholding democratic ideals, upholding the rule of law, respecting human rights, and upholding other civil liberties.