A Member of Parliament representing South Sudan at the East African Legislative Assembly has presented a motion to the speaker to compel Uganda and Kenya to allow entry for South Sudanese without paying visa fees.
MPs from the six member states will on Monday hold a 3-week plenary session in Kampala, Uganda, to discuss various bills.
Honorable Kim Gai said he will table a motion against the two countries for failing to implement provisions of the treaty which allows each citizen of a member state to enter its territory for free.
“According to the treaty, all the partner states should have free movement, but South Sudan, Uganda and Kenya did not implement this issue,” he said.
Over the years, members of the East African Community, with exception of South Sudan, have been traveling through the borders of the region without paying visa fees.
South Sudanese have been paying 50 US dollars upon entry in Kenya or Uganda, with exception of Tanzania which has formally scrapped off the fee.
Last month, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta proclaimed that all citizens from the East African countries are now free to enter Kenya without having to acquire a visa.
Mr. Kenyatta added that citizens from South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Burundi would be granted permission to also work, acquire land and own businesses in the Kenyan territory.
Article 104 of the East African Treaty guarantees the rights of free movement of persons, labor and services, and the right of establishment and residence of their citizens in the EAC region.
Honorable Kim Gai told Eye Radio on Thursday that his motion will be among the first bills to be presented in the next session of the assembly.
“The people of South Sudan should have free movements according to the treaty,” he stressed.
The Plenary session will take place from January 22nd 2018, through to February 9, 2018.
Among the issues to be discussed are: the EAC Oaths Bill, the EAC Statistics Bureau Bill, and the EAC Monetary Institute Bill of 2017.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who is the current chair of the East African Community Heads of State, is expected to address the assembly at a date to be communicated.
via Eye Radio