The second East African Legislative Assembly on Friday ended its 5th Meeting of the 5th Session in Arusha urging the regional Summit of Heads of State to intervene in resolving the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan.
The resolution moved by Hon. Clarkson Otieno Karan and supported by others, agreed that it was imperative for the regional presidents to help in obtaining a possible solution to amicably resolve ongoing conflicts between Khartoum and Juba.
The Resolution noted that the volatile relations between South Sudan and Sudan had led to economic blockades and disputes trickling down to the EAC and causing misery to its citizens.
The Assembly urged the EAC Summit to ensure the two countries conform to the requirements of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
This comes as Juba is yet to be officially admitted to join the bloc and regional lawmakers urged the EAC to fast-track the admission of South Sudan into the Community in accordance with the requirements of the Treaty.
Responding to the matter Hon. Eriya Kategaya, Ugandan minister in charge EAC, however noted the fundamental differences in the systems of law partly hampered the process adding that the region needed to support South Sudan.
He noted that Khartoum’s desire to impose Sharia law and the secular law maintained in South Sudan, meant the two nations were at odds.
The Assembly also resolved to urge the EAC Secretary General and the Council of Ministers to enhance access of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) to the new EAC Headquarters.
Moving the motion, Rwanda representative Dr. James Ndahiro noted that the new EAC headquarters which is soon to be completed had a glaring omission touching on accessibility to various points of the building for PWDs.
The legislator gave an example of the new EALA Chamber which he noted, had no sloping panel to aid those in wheelchairs or those with visual impairment.
Hon Jacqueline Muhongayire noted that the citizens of EAC needed to access the building noting that over 10 million citizens were currently PWDs.
“‘It is a shame that this group of persons shall not be able to access services at the EAC in the current set-up and we call upon the Secretary General to take up the matter very seriously,” she told the assembly.
The Secretary General, Amb Dr. Richard Sezibera however noted that no allocations had taken place since no official hand-over had been made by the construction team.
He noted that the Secretariat was in the interim trying to address some of the weaknesses discovered in due course of duty. Such include partitions in a number of offices which he said, would be worked on and ramps in certain areas erected to accommodate the PWDs.
Other resolutions passed included supporting and promoting culture in the region and a resolution on Aid Effectiveness and Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation moved by Hon. Dr Odette Nyiramilimo.