South Sudan Membership In EAC Demands Referendum

By Deng Vanang,

East African Heads of State and Government in EAC Summit (Photo: extracted).

East African Heads of State and Government in EAC Summit (Photo: extracted).

March 14, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —- New experience teaches us unions, either economic or political, more often than not accrue greater benefits for the concerned member states and their respective citizens. The same may not be far -fetched exception for South Sudan joining the East African Community, EAC. There is a lot to gain from unity than one striking it out alone in this most competitive world.

And what South Sudanese and their leaders may disagree about is not the question of joining the regional bloc of six countries including recently incorporated South Sudan of ours. The contention lies in timing. Many want some necessary delay to join the EAC while a few, including the government, think time is ripe to join in. Both sides have their own reasons, some valid and others invalid. But in comparison disadvantages outweighed the benefits South Sudan is going to gain from the membership as it currently appears.

There are about four benefits closer to many minds, including me, the country shall stand to reap from the membership. Visa waiver is one conspicuous benefits since many South Sudanese families live in Kenya and Uganda. Where there are accessibly cost effective education and better health care services.  Given on and off erotic fall of South Sudanese currency with high exchange rate of Dollars against Pounds, the country becoming a member in EAC is a big boon than gloom until common currency shall be adopted in due course.  East Africans particularly Kenyans and Ugandans’ business aggressiveness will be something good to be learned by more dormant South Sudanese, business wise.

And as for some South Sudanese politicians here at home who originally thought are edged out of political equation in their respective parties have got a new lease.  A new safe haven for them is on horizon. Which is none other than extra-parliamentary seats to go around in EAC’s parliament at Arusha town of Tanzania where they will make money in such a sweat – free – environment. Besides one more cabinet post for new East African Community’s membership. Although together with parliamentary seats is unsettling the already agreed power sharing agreement reached between the political parties.  And enough to send the major peace partners, IG and IO, back to the drawing board about which side to bag it and some more sizable seats.

This is not to forget the common military defense agreement tin pot dictators will use to entrench themselves in the Presidential hot seats as the main purpose for which South Sudan government, like its peers, is joining the sub-regional bloc. However, ten cons than those aforementioned pros are as many as dreadful. Loss of jobs to the influx of East Africans by incompetent locals is extremely high.

Coupled with business takeover courtesy of common South Sudanese grim lack of money to set up businesses and technical knowhow. Customs duties which supposed to be future mainstay of our young economy as oil prices decline shall be no more. While it will take time to build local industries to be taxed and complement generated meagre oil revenue. The profuse inflow of culture of dishonesty on the one hand and superlatively gorgeous beauties to knock lazily haggard – looking South Sudanese house wives off their homes shall rapidly destroy the very social fabric of our still more conservative way of life.

That in the most foreseeable future shall overwhelm and erode the blood purity of South Sudanese as children of immigrant mothers will take over the country. Take into consideration the case of Ivory Coast between ousted President Laurence Mbagbo and current one, Alassane Ouattara whose parents as migrant workers descended from neighboring Burkina Faso.

South Sudan shall, furthermore, no doubt get herself contented with mediocre satellite state status at the behest of both Uganda and Kenya, a recolonization of sorts via the back door. With complete loss of our occupied border regions out to Kenya and Uganda since we shall live under their politico-economic monopoly of not able to state our case against them as masters of our destiny. Whereas democracy will suffer with past civil wars to remove military dictatorships tumultuously dashing back home safe and sound.

For Museveni will import his Presidential bug of endlessly extending term limits to Tanzania, Kenya and South Sudan as it is now repeatedly happening in Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda. Those as mentioned above have been some among many untold reasons as to why it took United Kingdom an ample time to join the European Union dominated by her rival Germany and is now threatening to pull out. As so was Tanzania in fear of economically strong Kenya dragging her feet against fast tracking EAC to become full-pledged trading and political bloc that is going to be sooner than later.

Deng Vanang is the author and journalist, he can be reached

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