Constructing a Security Architecture in East Africa

A meeting of EAC leaders in 2009.

The chaos in South Sudan after an alleged coup attempt on 14 December 2013 led to a diplomatic as well as military intervention by its neighbors. It was Uganda that went ahead and openly backed up South Sudanese president Salva Kiir a week later in his struggle to regain control in the youngest country in the world. A few days later, Uganda’s forces were included in an Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) mission that was set up. This raises the larger questions of how the East African security architecture looks like and where it is heading to in a fragile region as the famous commentator Charles Onyango-Obbo has done in the The East African Times. While a regional security architecture has been started to be in place since the 1990s, the region’s security institutions are still guided by the national self-interest of its members and not for the good of the broader region. Continue reading “Constructing a Security Architecture in East Africa”

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Kenya’s request to re-introduce impunity

The recent statement of Kenyan United Nations (UN) Envoy Macharia Kamau in New York is odd. Mr. Kamau did not simply ask for a deferral of the cases against Kenya’s new president Uhuru Kenyatta and his vice president William Ruto at the International Criminal Court (ICC). One of Kenya’s most important diplomats requested in very strong words an outright determination of the ICC case because they were a threat to Kenya’s national security and undermined the country’s sovereignty. However, it did not come as a surprise that the UN Security Council could not discuss the matter because it has no authority over the request. Therefore, a senior diplomat called the Kenyan move “slightly bizarre.”

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One currency for East Africa

Believe it or not: already in August the East African Community (EAC) wants to conclude a monetary union that should be signed by November 2013. The five head of states decided in Arusha, Tanzania, just one week ago that they want to achieve a further step in regional integration, hoping that a High Level Task Force consisting of senior experts will finish all negotiations in some months and resolve the outstanding issues. According to Rwanda’s “The New Times,” Rwanda’s Minister for EAC Affairs Monique Mukaruliza said that the issue of a single currency was in its final stages of conclusion.

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South Sudan still waiting to join the EAC

A week ago, the head of states of the East African Community (EAC) came together for a summit in Arusha, Tanzania. The main issue on the agenda was the establishment of a monetary union that ultimately will be necessary to achieve a federation among the five member states (see my article). However, one of the most pressing issues was not addressed as “The East African” pointed out: the future membership of countries waiting in line to become part of the most dynamic regional organization in sub-Saharan Africa.

Continue reading “South Sudan still waiting to join the EAC”