The Ugandan Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations and Commander UPDF Land Forces Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba has welcomed the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to the East African Community, saying the dreams of our fathers and grandfathers are coming to fruition.
Gen Kainerugaba noted in a brief message seen by this website that the admission of DRC into the EAC is a beautiful thing to behold.
"A beautiful thing to behold! The dreams of our fathers and grandfathers coming to pass. Africa is united from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean," Gen Kainerugaba said in a message attached to the new EAC map on his Twitter handle.
The map was officially launched in Nairobi by EAC presidents.
President Yoweri Museveni who attended the ceremony to officially welcome DRC said that he had personally been waiting for the last 60 years for DRC to reconnect with EAC.
“DRC has strong historical, social and cultural links with EAC Partner States. It is the onus of the EAC to now work on restoring peace and stability in Eastern DRC, a fete we can achieve by working together,” he said.
The summit of EAC heads of State at their 19th Ordinary Summit admitted DRC following recommendation by the Council of Ministers.
The chairperson of the Summit, Uhuru Kenyatta, who is also Kenya’s President, informed the meeting that DRC had met all the set criteria for admission as provided for in the Treaty for the establishment of the EAC.
“We have concluded the regional processes for admitting new members as provided for in our rules of procedure,” said Kenyatta.
“Admitting DRC into EAC is historic for our Community and the African continent at large. It demonstrates the agility of the Community to expand beyond its socio-cultural boundaries to new people and trade centred partnerships and collaboration, thus increasing trade and investment opportunities for the citizens,” added the chair.
Kenyatta said that he was looking forward to the DRC signing the Treaty of Accession before the stated date of 14th April, 2022.
The summit took the decision to admit DRC into EAC after adopting the report of the Council of Ministers that had recommended the same.
Welcoming his country’s admission into the EAC, DRC President Felix Tshisekedi termed it a historical day for DRC, stating that it paves the way for the harmonisation of the country’s policies with those of the EAC.
Tshisekedi said that DRC was looking forward to increased Intra-EAC trade and reduction of tension amongst the EAC Partner States.
“It is the desire of DRC to see the creation of a new organ in the EAC that is solely focused on mining, natural resources and energy that will be based in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo,” he said.
President Paul Kagame of Rwanda hailed the EAC Council of Ministers and the Summit for fast-tracking the entry of DRC into the EAC.
“I call upon EAC Organs and Institutions to accelerate the integration of DRC into the Community. Rwanda is committed to support the process,” Gen Kagame stated.