The much-anticipated East African Community (EAC) Heads of State meeting slated for December 27 in Arusha, Tanzania, has been deferred, Chimp Corps report.
“The Summit will not take place,” said EAC Deputy Secretary General, Christophe Bazivamo on Thursday.
The presidents’ Summit is usually preceded by a Ministerial meeting which was scheduled for today but didn’t take place.
A high ranking official told ChimpReports that “actually the presidents have consulted and December 27 is not convenient to them. A new date will be given very shortly.”
Presidents Museveni, Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta and Tanzanian leader John Magufuli earlier this month gathered in Arusha for the meeting only for Burundi to shun the Summit.
The rules of the EAC require all members to attend meetings for resolutions of the deliberations to be binding.
Burundi refused to attend the meeting, says EAC needs to address what President Pierre Nkurunziza described as Rwanda’s “aggressiveness” and “destabilization” of neighboring countries.
Nkurunziza also accused President Kagame of planning and executing a failed coup in Bujumbura in 2015, a claim Kigali denies.
Kagame responded to Nkurunziza, saying Rwanda would not be dragged into Burundi’s provocations.
But the Burundi-Rwanda conflict has threatened to delay major regional projects which were due to discussion by heads of state.
The rivalry could as well undermine efforts to expedite regional integration.
Among the items on the Provisional Agenda of the 20th Summit of the EAC Heads of State are: the status of ratification of various protocols; the status of resolution of long outstanding non-tariff barriers and the progress report on the adoption of Political Confederation as a Transitional Model to the East African Political Federation.
Other items on the Agenda include: the road-map for the accelerated integration of the Republic of South Sudan into the EAC and the verification exercise for the admission of the Republic of Somalia into the Community.
The Summit will also consider reports on modalities for the promotion of Motor Vehicle Assembly in East Africa aimed at reducing importation of used vehicles into the Community and the review of the textile and leather sector with a view to developing a strong and competitive domestic sector that gives consumers better choice than imported textile and footwear.