South Sudan is about to be kicked out of the legislature over government failure to pay its annual contributions, the lawmakers representing the country at the regional parliament have told Eye Radio.
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.
One of the nine MPs representing South Sudan at EALA – 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 told Eye Radio Tuesday that the EALA has already started the suspension process.
“If the South Sudan pays this money ($27m), they will stop the process,” Honorable Gai stressed.
The government of South Sudan, especially the ministry of trade, industry and East Africa Community Affairs, is yet to comment on the matter.