South Sudan’s delay in contributing to the East African Community budget is undermining the country’s integrity, the Undersecretary in the Ministry of Trade, Industry and East African Affairs has said.
South Sudan was supposed to pay more than 6.7 million dollar as part of its contribution to the regional block for the financial year 2016/2017.
An additional 8.4 million dollars is supposed to be paid by the country for the current 2017/2018 budget.
Last week, the sectoral Council of Ministers responsible for EAC Affairs and planning said late contributions or no contributions by partner states are a constraint to the smooth operations of the community.
According to the East African Newspaper, the ministers made the statement in their meeting held from 21st to 25th August in Arusha, Tanzania.
“The Sectoral Council of Legal and Judicial Affairs should have their input in the proposed sanctions to the partner states who do not remit their contributions or delay to do so,” the daily added.
“It questions the integrity of a national like ours. This was a voluntary commitment which we made to become members of the East African Community,” Mou Mou Athian said.
Last month, Members of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly in Juba elected nine representatives to the assembly of the economic bloc.
A judge was also selected to represent South Sudan in the East African Court of Justice.
“These people are paid from the contributions which all partner states make,” Mou said. “If we have not paid our contribution, that doesn’t look good.”
South Sudan became the 6th member of the East African Community after joining the regional body in April last year.
Being admitted to the regional body means that South Sudan will enjoy all the economic benefits the EAC is currently offering.
These include freer movement of labor and capital and, in principle, free trade.
“So it can have an impact on our full participation in the sense that we cannot push for our rights,” Mou added.