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Peace & Security

Planning Meeting ahead of Deployment of the EAC Election Observer Missions in Kenya and Rwanda underway in Nairobi

East African Community Secretariat; Nairobi, Kenya; 20 June 2017:

A four-day planning meeting ahead of deployment of the EAC Election Observer Missions in the Kenya General Elections and Rwanda Presidential Elections due in August 2017, is underway in Nairobi, Kenya.

The meeting is being attended by officials from the National Human Rights Commissions, National Independent Electoral Commissions, Offices of the Registrar of Political Parties, and Ministries in charge of EAC Affairs in the Partner States of the United Republic of Tanzania, Burundi, Uganda, and South Sudan.

Addressing participants at the opening session, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Political Federation, Mr. Charles Njoroge noted that this was the first time the Community was engaging in two Election Observer Missions at the same time in two Partner States within a period of ten days. “That means we will need to double our efforts and level of preparations”, said the EAC official, adding that getting involved in Electoral Observation in the region is in fulfilment of the EAC Treaty objectives on democratization.

He said the upcoming elections in the Republics of Kenya and Rwanda were the last in the 2010-2020 Electoral Calendar and that the next General Election in the region will take place in 2020.

Mr. Njoroge disclosed that the upcoming Missions will be characterized by a slight departure from the traditional Mission composition as for the first time since EAC commenced Election Observations; the Community will not have the much-needed regional political dimension traditionally offered by members of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) because the 4th EALA is not yet constituted.

“Additionally, we will be welcoming on board the Republic of South Sudan who are to take part in the Missions for the first time. As we deliberate we will look at ways of ensuring that the absence of the EALA does not in any way impair the quality of the observation mission and the subsequent Report”, assured the Deputy Secretary General.

In the next four days, participants will be able to share information on election observation as a democratic benchmark, prepare for Election Observation in the Republics of Kenya and Rwanda including discussing the deployment plans and insight into the Kenyan Electoral Landscape.

Participants will also be able to engage with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission of Kenya. Consultation with the Rwanda National Electoral Commission will take place at a later date.


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Notes to Editor: 

Pursuant to the provisions of Articles 123, 6 (d) and 3 (3) (b) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community, the EAC will be deploying Electoral Observers to the Presidential Elections to be held in the Republic of Rwanda on 4th August 2017 and the General Elections to be held in the Republic of Kenya on 8th August 2017.

The Observer Missions headed by Eminent Persons from the EAC Region and comprised of nominees from the EAC Partner States facilitated by the Secretariat will undertake the exercise in line with guidelines contained in the EAC Principles on Electoral Observation and Evaluation, which heralded the institutionalization of Election Observation in the EAC Partner States.

The EAC has previously fielded Election Observer Missions to Elections in the Republic Kenya 2013, Republic of Rwanda, Republic of Burundi 2005, 2010, 2015, The United Republic of Tanzania 2015, the Repeat Elections in Zanzibar 2016, and the Republic of Uganda 2016, among others.

The deployment of the Short-Term Observation Mission will be preceded by Pre-Election Monitoring Missions whose remit will be to look at the playing field based on a number of variables. The length of both Missions will thus be 14th July to 12th August 2017 for the Republic of Kenya and 9th July to 7th August 2017 for the Republic of Rwanda.

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001: 2008 Certified

EAC convenes the 6th EAC and 2nd EAS-IO Prisons /Correctional Services Chiefs Meeting in Mauritius

East African Community Secretariat; Arusha, Tanzania; 21 April 2017:

The 6th Meeting of the EAC Chiefs of Prisons/Correctional Services, was held on 20th April 2017 in Port Louis, Mauritius, pursuant to the EAC Calendar of activities for the period January to June 2017.

The meeting was held back to back with the 2nd Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA)-Indian Ocean (IO) Chiefs of Prisons and Correctional Services which was hosted and Chaired by the Republic of Mauritius under the stewardship of the Commissioner of Mauritius Prisons Service Mr Premananda Appadoo.

The meeting reviewed the Status of Implementation of Previous Decisions which included Cooperation agreement for the sub sector, Peace Support Operations: Progress on Development of Pre-Deployment Curriculum, Harmonization of Training Curricular, Implementation of Confidence Building Measures(Report of Benchmark Visit to the Prisons in the Republic of Uganda; Report of Mentorship Visit to Mauritius Prisons Service; Report of Benchmark Visit to the Republic of Kenya Probation and Aftercare Services)

The meeting also considered status report on the overdue establishment of a Prisons/Correctional Services Liaison Office at the EAC Secretariat.

The meeting was succeeded by the 2nd ESA-IO Prisons and Correctional Services Chiefs which provided a forum for the various participating states to share information and best practices on various correctional aspects.

The meeting underscored the need for emphasis on promotion of an entire correctional continuum approach that would relieve Prisons of bustling populations and give convicts an opportunity to pay back to society through community service and rehabilitation. The meeting further reaffirmed the need to pay attention to the phenomenon of Children in Conflict with the Law.

The Meetings thanked the EU for financial support towards supporting the implementation of the ESA-IO Maritime Security Strategy through which a special community of practice is being promoted through networking, within a south- south cooperation context.

The meeting highlighted the increasing challenges being occasioned to the penal system by crimes committed in the sea and underscored the need for burden sharing in this process. The Representation from the Indian Ocean Commission also participated in the ESA-IO component and highlighted the ESA-IO Partnership between the EU on the one hand and the EAC ,COMESA,IOC and IGAD on the other in promoting through a multi-dimensional approach, Maritime Safety and Security in the Indian Ocean, critical to the economies of both littoral and inland states. The Outcomes directly contribute to the achievement of the Africa Integrated Maritime Strategy.

The meetings concluded with benchmark visits to the various categories of Prisons in Mauritius which have achieved ISO Certification.

The Republic of Uganda, current chair of the African Correctional Services Association, (ACSA), invited all participating states as well as the EAC Secretariat to the upcoming 4th Biennial Conference to be hosted by the Republic of Rwanda as from 15th to 18th May 2017 in Kigali, Rwanda.

The meeting noted this as a key ingredient in promoting a contextualized community of practice in Africa as a Region.

The meeting Chaired by the Deputy Commissioner General of the Uganda Prison Service, Mr. James Mwanje, was attended by Director General of Burundi Penitentiary Administration, Mr Gervais Hajayandi; the Assistant Commissioner General of Kenya Prison Service, Ms Wanini Kireri; the Commissioner General Rwanda Correctional Service, Mr.George Rwigamba; and the Deputy Director General/Finance and Administration, South Sudan Prison Service, Lt Gen Andrew Monybeeng. The United Republic of Tanzania did not send representation.

The meeting was also attended by Senior Officials from the EAC Coordination Ministries, Probation/Aftercare and Children’s Services.


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For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania|
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

Regional Programme for Promotion of Maritime Security in the Eastern and Southern African and Indian Ocean (ESA-IO)

East African Community Secretariat; Bagatelle, Mauritius; 12 April 2017:

“The recent events [with three acts of piracy off the Somali coasts after five years of calm], reminded us that maritime insecurity remains a major challenge in the Western Indian Ocean. That is why we must not slacken our efforts”.

On the occasion of the opening of the fifth Steering Committee of the Regional Programme for the Promotion of Maritime Security (MASE), on the 6th of April 2017 in Bagatelle (Mauritius), Indian Ocean Commission’s (IOC) General-Secretary, Hamada Madi, enjoined the regional organizations and the countries of the Eastern and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean, as well as the international community to “remain mobilised in our region that is strategic for world trade”. 

Indeed, “our region is crisscrossed by many maritime highways. For our countries, maritime trade, fisheries and seaside tourism are essential for our economies. The added value of the EU-financed MASE Programme lies in the fact that it is covering all aspects of maritime security and safety”, said the IOC General-Secretary. In this respect, he welcomes the operationalization of the Regional Maritime Information Fusion Centre in Madagascar and the Regional Maritime Operational Coordination Centre in Seychelles, two useful tools for securing maritime zones. 

“We have a range of myriad issues taking place off the coast of Somalia, that is not only piracy but illegal fishing, arms and human trafficking which continue to challenge the region. I do hope together we shall overcome”, declared Ambassador Tewolde Gebremeskel, Director of IGAD Peace and Security Division.

IGAD thus committed to redouble its efforts to working with the East African Community (EAC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and the IOC within the MASE Programme in order to achieve practical results in the realm of security and governance in the maritime domain as well as in social and economic domains such as livelihoods for coastal communities that are the causal factor of maritime criminality.

Confirming that the root causes of piracy is at land, the EU Ambassador Marjaana Sall recalled that the European Union was the largest donor in Somalia, with over EUR 1.2 billion spent on development and capacity building. She also underlined EU overall contribution to maritime security in the region, in particular with the MASE Programme.

The fifth Steering Committee made it possible to take stock of the progresses of the MASE Programme activities, as well to start the process regarding the next Programmes on maritime security and safety in ports to be funded by the 11th European Development Fund.

The members of the MASE Programme’s Steering Committee noted the IGAD’s commitment to engage with the new Somalia Federal Government at the highest level, and its will to continue engaging with the Federal Maritime Security Coordination Committees and the Regional States, in order to realize optimum Result 1 outcomes.

The Steering Committee also noted with interest the offer by the Republic of Mauritius to host a Center of Excellence for prison staff training. ESA-IO Chiefs of Prisons will visit the Prisons Training School in the course of their 2nd Meeting to be held in Mauritius under the coordination of EAC in late April 2017.

Furthermore, it has been recommended that COMESA and EAC should benefit from the possible synergies in the implementation of their respective activities in the MASE Programme supporting Law Enforcement Agencies, notably the financial regulation institutions and legal and judiciary bodies.

Finally, the members of the Steering Committee support the development of a good collaboration between MASE, through the IOC’s Anti-Piracy Unit, and Crimario, the EU-funded Critical Maritime Routes in the Indian Ocean Programme, that should continue as part of the operationalization of the Regional Maritime Information Fusion Centre and the Regional Maritime Operational Coordination Centre.


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Notes to Editor: 

The MASE Programme aims at promoting maritime security and safety in the Western Indian Ocean. Coordinated by IGAD, it comprises five result areas implemented by ESA-IO regional organizations:  

  • Result 1 – IGAD: Alternative livelihoods through vocational development initiatives and advocacy against piracy are supported; maritime coordination mechanisms are reinforced in Somalia;
  • Result 2 – EAC: National & regional legal, legislative and infrastructural capabilities for arrest, transfer, detention and procesution of pirates are developed and strengthened;
  • Result 3 – COMESA: Regional capacity to disrupt the financial networks of pirate leaders and their financier while also addressing the structural vulnerability factors and minimize the economic impact of piracy is strengthened;
  • Result 4 – IOC: National and regional capacity for maritime tasks and support functions are enhanced;
  • Result 5 – IOC: A regional mechanism for coordination and exchange of information is developed.

 The regional organizations (IGAD, IOC, EAC and COMESA), implementing this Programme financed by the EU in the amount of 37.5 million EUR for the 2013-2020 period, are closely collaborating with numerous key players for security and development, including EU missions (EUNAVFOR Atalanta and EUCAPNESTOR), UN Agencies (UNODC, FAO), Interpol.

For more information, please contact:

IOC Communication Unit: (+230) 402 61 00 /
communication [at] coi-ioc.org">communication [at] coi-ioc.org
www.commissionoceanindien.org /
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Read and download the leaflet here
Read the IOC’s annual report 2016
 

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

Kenya National Cohesion and Integration Commission on EAC Study Tour

East African Community Secretariat; Arusha, Tanzania; 24 March 2017:
A delegation from the Kenya National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), led by Commissioner Hon. Morris Dzoro, was at the EAC Headquarters today on study tour, as part of the Commission’s visit to various Institutions of Governance in Arusha and Dar es Salaam, in the United Republic of Tanzania.

Welcoming the Commissioners to the EAC Headquarters, the Deputy Secretary General in charge of Political Federation, Mr. Charles Njoroge noted that the mandate of the NCIC was to encourage national cohesion and integration by outlawing all kinds of discrimination on ethnic grounds; to fight hate speech and to provide for the establishment, powers and functions of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission, and for connected purposes.

“Indeed your mandate and functions complement the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC and the protocols, strategy and mechanisms deriving from the Treaty” asserted Mr. Njoroge, adding that “EAC puts at the heart of integration efforts for the harmony and peaceful co-existence of the people of EAC Region

The Deputy Secretary General informed his guests that the Treaty and EAC Founding Fathers recognize peace and security as a pre-requisite for socio-economic development and achievement of EAC integration objectives.

He commended the delegation for the good work they were doing for the Kenyan people in promoting national cohesion, integration and peace, particularly during electoral period. “Without national unity, development and prosperity of Kenyan and any other EAC Partner State are illusive”.

On his part, the leader of the delegation, Hon. Morris Dzoro, commended the Deputy Secretary General in charge of Political Federation, Mr. Charles Njoroge for spearheading several initiatives in the Political Affairs of the Community. He also commended the EAC Secretariat for steering the regional integration process in the right direction and said their visit will enhance implementation of their mandate.

The delegation was given a detailed brief on the functions of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ), and on the EAC Early Warning Mechanism (EACWARN) and the EAC Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution Mechanism (CPMR Mechanism).

While in Arusha, the delegation lmet and held discussions with officials from the East African Business Council (EABC), the East African Law Society (EALS), and the East African Civil Society Forum (EASCOF).
 


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For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

 

Inter-Burundi Dialogue: Commencement of the Formal Dialogue after Completion of Consultative Talks

East African Community Secretariat; Arusha, Tanzania; 08 February 2017:

The Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, H.E. Benjamin William Mkapa, in his capacity as the Facilitator of the Inter-Burundi Dialogue has announced the commencement of the formal dialogue after completion of the consultative talks. The Session is scheduled for 16th  – 18th February 2017, at the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC).

The convening of this session follows rigorous consultations the Facilitator made with various stakeholders within and outside Burundi, after which he identified an Eight-point Agenda raised by all stakeholders and agreed to be the main sticking points which he reported to the Summit in September 2016.

This Eight-point Agenda, which will form the thrust of the dialogue and subsequent negations, in no particular order of importance, includes: Security and commitment to end all forms of violence; Commitment to the Rule of Law and an end to impunity; Status of the implementation of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement; Strengthening of Democratic Culture and Opening up of Political Space; Social and Humanitarian Issues.

Others are, Implementation of the EAC Summit Decision of July 6th, 2015 on the Formation of the Government of National Unity; Impact of the Crisis on the Economy; and the Relationship between Burundi, its Neighbours and other International Partners.

In this initial phase of this dialogue which is by and large a political process, the Facilitator will invite some of the Political Parties and important political actors to whom he will introduce the unpacked Eight-point agenda to determine areas of convergence and divergence.

Other stakeholders like the civil society organizations, religious groups, as well as women and youth will be invited in later sessions for a similar purpose. It is the expectation of the Facilitator that, in this initial dialogue, inputs from participant will draw up an outline of the would-be agreement to be continuously refined until when it fully agreed upon by all stakeholder and can be signed as a final agreement hopefully in June, 2017 as he envisaged.

Ends

Issued by:

Office of the Facilitator of the Inter-Burundi Dialogue on this day 8th February 2017


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For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.


East African Community
EAC Close
Afrika Mashariki Road
P.O. Box 1096
Arusha
United Republic of Tanzania

Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
Fax: +255 (0)27 216 2190
Email: eac@eachq.org