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East African leaders turn down Sudan application to join EAC bloc

(Xinhua)

15:05, December 01, 2011

BUJUMBURA, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- East African leaders on Wednesday officially rejected an application by Sudan to join the five-member East African Community (EAC) after concluding that the North African state does not meet required criteria.

The 13th ordinary heads of state summit held in the Burundian capital Bujumbura was attended by the presidents of Kenya, Burundi and Uganda, Mwai Kibaki, Pierre Nkurunziza and Yoweri Museveni.

Also present at the summit were the vice president of Tanzania, Mohamed Bilal, and Rwandan Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi.

"The summit observed that this application does not meet the criterion on geographical proximity and contiguity and cannot therefore be considered at this point in time," the bloc's Secretary General Amb. Richard Sezibera said as he read the final communique of the 13th heads of state summit.

Sezibera noted that the summit also received a report that the republic of South Sudan on Nov. 11 to join the EAC.

The application by the world's new state will be examined before a decision is taken at a future date.

Sezibera said, "The summit directed the council of ministers to verify this application on the basis of the criteria for admission of foreign countries and submit recommendations to the summit at its tenth extraordinary meeting."

According to the treaty and the rules on the procedure for admission of new members, the criteria requires applicant countries to adhere to universally acceptable principles of good governance, democracy, the rule of law, observance of human rights and social justice.

The EAC leaders also adopted several reports, including a document on challenges to the political federation.

President Nkurunziza officially announced and handed over the EAC chairmanship to Kenyan President Kibaki.

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