8 March 2014

East Africa: Law Society Wants Burundi Suspended From EAC

The East African Law Society which operates from Arusha has dragged the government of Burundi before the East African Court of Justice over alleged continued acts that breach human rights and democracy that country.

In line with that, the EALS has written to the EAC Secretary General, Dr Richard Sezibera to form special commission regarding the matter and should go and investigate such concerns in Burundi. Should the matter be proven to be true, then the country's membership at the EAC should be suspended.

The membership of the Republic of Burundi to the East African Community was therefore put under the spotlight when the Reference filed by the East Africa Law Society at the East African Court of Justice called on the EAC Secretary General to evaluate and advise on whether Burundi is still in consonance with the fundamental Principles that underpin the East African Community.

The reference came up for hearing at the EACJ chambers in Arusha at the end of this week.

In the case filed as Reference No. 1 of 2014, the Regional Lawyers' Body points to the ongoing events in the Republic of Burundi as potential red flags that the Republic of Burundi has diverged from its commitments under Article 6(d) and 7(2) of the Treaty establishing the East African Community under which Partner States undertake to abide by the principles of good governance, including adherence to the principles of democracy, the rule of law, social justice and the maintenance of universally accepted standards of human rights.

The lawyers' body also invites the Secretary General to advise the Councilof Ministers and the EAC Summit on what potential sanctions can then be applied on the Republic of Burundi as provided for under the East African Community Treaty (Articles 146 and 147 of the Treaty.

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