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EAC quiet as Burundi slowly descends into genocide

15 December 2015, 13:54 Paul Orodi

Nairobi - East Africa Community is a bloc that is rising at a fast pace to become one of Africa's regional powerhouse. This has been attributed mostly to the peace and stability realized over the past two decades.

After the genocide in Rwanda and the civil war in Burundi, the East Africa Community begun a steady climb along the path of economic growth and development. Integrated development became a necessity and this brought the players of the region closer in terms of agreements to resource distribution and use.

However, with regards to governance, East Africa Community has largely been silent. The heads of state in the regional bloc have not been instrumental in ensuring good governance practices across the regional bloc. Governance has become a fundamental tool in determining growth and development because of the fact that it dictates the peace and stability enjoyed within a state.

When the heads of state within East Africa meet, they have not been so much interested in establishing a binding policy that relates to governance practices across the member states. This should have been the first agenda of the 21st century as regional integration took centre stage. Governance within Burundi has failed and thus the bloodshed is on an increase as days go by.

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The East African Community should shoulder the burden of Burundi partly because of the fact that it is the most influential voice in bringing good governance practice across the region. Burundi president has blatantly decided to pursue a third term of office and this clearly does not sit well with the general population of Burundi. As if not enough, this act of declaring an interest in running for a third term has violated the agreement that brought about an end to the civil war in that country about 20 years ago.

Presidents of the member states should call for a crisis meeting and address their colleague and urge him to act in the interest of his nation and its people. President Pierre Nkurunziza should not be allowed to cause loss of lives just because of his personal interests. For the United Nations Security Council to discuss this crisis taking place in Burundi and yet the East Africa Community still ignoring it is a sign that the region does not have its priorities right.

Burundi is a member state of the East Africa Community and its membership gives the region access to a potential market in the sectors of agriculture, labour, transport, ICT and many more. This is a country that is untapped and the region stands to lose a whole lot if the chaos and instability descends into anarchy and civil war.

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