Kiir assumes EAC chairmanship

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has assumed the chairmanship of the East African Community today in Arusha, Tanzania during the 23rd East African Community (EAC) heads of state Summit.

President Kiir has taken over from his Burundian counterpart, President Evariste Ndayhimiye whose tenure has come to an end.

On April 16, 2016, South Sudan officially joined EAC, and it will be the first time President Kiir will take the mantle of the regional bloc.

Speaking to reporters in Juba on Thursday morning, Lilly Adhieu Martin, the president’s press secretary said the opportunity is remarkable.

“This is a historic achievement for the people and government of South Sudan to lead the government, achieving regional peace and economic integration,” said Adhieu.

Adhieu said Kiir’s one-year tenure will give South Sudan an opportunity to advocate for policies that promote equal and effective regional integration and cooperation.

“As the chairperson for the East African Community, President Kiir will focus on enhancing customs, cross-border trade, mitigation of climate change, crisis management and enhancing regional peace,” she stated.

The EAC comprises Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Uganda. Deliberations to admit Somalia into the bloc are still ongoing since 2016.