South Sudan

Court Rules on South Sudan EAC Membership

The East African Court of Justice First has thrown out a case in which South Sudan’s eligibility to the membership of the East African Community was being questioned.

The Instance Division recently dismissed the case against the Attorneys General of the 5 Partner States, this Uganda, discount Kenya, pharmacy Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and the Secretary General of the East African Community

The Application was filed by Patrick Ntege Walusimbi, Dan Ssenga and Mohammed Waiga (all being Ugandans trading in the Republic of South Sudan) through their company known as Uganda Traders Association of South Sudan Ltd.

The Association was initially one of the Applicants in the case until 5th September 2014 when it was struck out for non-compliance of Rule 24(4) of the Rules of Procedure of the Court which requires a case made by a cooperate body to be accompanied by documentary evidence of its existence in law.

The case was prompted by the action of South Sudan of applying to join as a member the East African Community under Article 3(3) (b) of the EAC Treaty.

The Applicants opposed the application on grounds that South Sudan does not adhere to universally accepted principles of good governance, democracy, rule of law and observance of human rights and social justice as required under Article 3(3) (b) of the EAC Treaty.

The Applicants sought a declaration that the Republic of South Sudan is not a fit and proper candidate to be granted membership in the EAC bloc and an order that the Respondents should not grant South Sudan membership to the EAC.

The Court in delivering the judgment held inter alia that, “it is vested with jurisdiction to entertain the case and it has been persuaded and convinced by the Applicants that the case discloses a cause of action under Article 30(1) of the Treaty.”


Furthermore, the Court held that, “the process under scrutiny duly complied with the Treaty and the Protocol for Admission to the EAC.”

It further stated, the “directive for the commencement of negotiations was grounded in the Summit’s discretionary mandate as enshrined in Article 3(2) of the Protocol for Admission to the EAC, and it did not contravene alleged Treaty provisions.”

The Court dismissed the case with costs to the Respondents.

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