By Deng Machol
Juba – South Sudan representatives are likely to be kicked out of the East Africa Legislature Assembly (EALA) over Juba government failure to pay its annual contributions, says the lawmakers representing the country at the regional parliament.
However, since South Sudan joined the East African Community in 2016, the government has not been paying the yearly membership fee which stands at $8.4 million.
According to the lawmakers at the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), South Sudan currently owes the regional parliament $27 million.
South Sudan have nine members in East Africa Legislature Assembly (EALA), with the aims to raise a concerns of the country’s citizens.
Hon. Kim Gai, says if Juba does not clear the unpaid fees, the member state will be punished in accordance with Article 146 of East African Community treaty.
Article 146 of the EAC treaty also stipulates that the Summit may suspend a Partner State from taking part in the activities of the community if that State fails to observe and fulfil the fundamental principles and objectives of the Treaty including failure to meet financial commitments to the community within a period of eighteen (18) months.
It also states that a suspended partner state shall cease to enjoy the benefits provided for under the treaty but shall continue to be bound by membership obligations until the suspension is lifted.
Hon. Gai, was quoted by local radio, saying that the EALA has already started the suspension process on South Sudan.
“If the South Sudan pays this money ($27m), they will stop the process,” said Gai.
The government of South Sudan, especially the ministry of trade, industry and East Africa Community Affairs, is yet to comment on the matter.
South Sudan gained her independence from Sudan in July 2011 after two decades of civil war, which gave her opportunity to join any grouping community, but the world youngest country is still lagging behind in term of infrastructure, financial management, human rights, trade and economic, education and more others to compete in the East Africa Community.
Despite that, the country was also devastated by the political conflict, which started on late December 2013, a five – years conflict has claimed nearly 400,000 lives and uprooted 4 million people from their homes, before ruined its economy.
In spite the resumption of oil production, the country is still facing financial constraints to funds the implementation of the revitalized peace deal, which due to end civil war and other developmental projects