EAC parliament urged to “eliminate” visa fees for South Sudanese

Memer states of the East Africa Community (File photo)

January 21st 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – A South Sudanese advocacy group has urged the East African Community (EAC) parliament to exempt South Sudanese from paying visa fees for East African countries.

The Center for Peace and Advocacy (CPA) said in a statement extended to Nyamilepedia on Monday that the regional parliament should remove visa payments for South Sudanese to visit “Uganda and Kenya. This call comes after Mps of East African Legislative Assembly held meeting in Juba on January 20, 2020. The Committee on legal, rules and privileges on approximation and harmonization of national laws in the East African Community.”

“The sub-Committee on approximation of national laws has considered a number of law including laws governing contracts, immigration, labor and other laws in the East African Community. Hon: Paul Musamali who represent Uganda in the meeting held yesterday, said ‘however, my position is that EALA passed a resolution in September 2018 sponsored by Hon: Kim Gat Ruot who represent South Sudan and myself urging all partner states that are charging visas and work permit fees should be abolish in order for the smoothly working relationship within member states. It’s one year down the road, in February 2020, the EALA is going to task to chair of the council of ministers of East Africa Hon: Olivier Nduhungirehe of Rwanda to explain how far they have gone with implementation of the resolution’.

CPA’s national coordinator, Ter Manyang Gatwech said other nationals of East African Community States including Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda do not require visas to travel to the other EAC members states.

“It’s time for Honorable Council of Ministers of Hon: Olivier Nduhungirehe of Rwanda to spend up the process in order for all South Sudanese ordinary citizens to have the privileges like other citizens within EAC. A majority of South Sudanese people in Uganda and Kenya face a lot of challenges. Uganda introduce what we called “student pass” which inquire a lot of bureaucratic systems from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Uganda and Kenya keep pesky South Sudanese citizens all the times in Kenya,” he said.

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