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Crisis as Burundian Absence Causes Cancellation of EAC Presidents’ Summit

The East African Community (EAC) Heads of State meeting that was scheduled for today, Friday has been called off, apparently due to lack of representation from Burundi.

ChimpReports understands the 20th EAC Summit was cancelled after President Yoweri Museveni, who is also the outgoing Chairman of the bloc, had arrived in Arusha, for the same.

While the Rwandan President Paul Kagame had confirmed his absence since he’s attending the G10 Summit in Buenos Aires, officials told this website  that the EAC summit was cancelled because of the absence of Burundi.

Burundi a few weeks ago communicated to the EAC, that they wouldn’t make it to the summit on November 30 and requested a postponement of two weeks.

The EAC Chairman Mr Museveni however, decided to proceed with the Summit.

In a letter to Nkurunziza, Museveni said the Summit was meant to “deliberate on serious agenda items which have been pending for so long” and needed to be “attended to promptly.”

Interestingly, Burundi did not attend the meeting of the ministers earlier this week.

Yet, unanimously the Ministers recognized that their meeting can only be informal because for it to be called “EAC Council meeting” all countries have to be represented in line with Rule 11 from EAC Rules of Procedure for Council.

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“The same issue is now coming up today as the same rule applies to Summit; so the situation is quite problematic,” said a Ugandan diplomat.

The absence of Nkurunziza or his representative meant that the decisions of the Summit would be null and void.

A Burundian official told us, Burundi as a member in the EAC “has a stake and its issues must be heard.”

According to a statement released by State House earlier today, the President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta was already in Arusha together with the Tanzanian leader John Pombe Magufulu ready for the summit.

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