East Africa: Kagame in Dar es Salaam to Discuss Burundi, South Sudan Crises

President Paul Kagame has this morning arrived in Tanzania's economic capital Dar-es-Salaam to attend the 17th Extra-ordinary Summit of the East African Community, his office announced.

A communique from the office of EAC Secretariat says the 17th EAC extra-ordinary summit of heads of state will consider ministerial council reports of South Sudan and Burundi, as well as considering new EU-EAC Economic Partnership Agreement.

Burundi and South Sudan have plunged into political crises and other member states must contribute to restoring peace and stability.

Burundi's political turmoil will take center stage at this summit where Benjamin Mkapa, former Tanzanian President and facilitator of Burundi-dialogue will brief heads of state on the outcomes of peace talks.

Burundi foreign Minister Alain Aime Nyamitwe will represent President Pierre Nkurunziza who has been locked inside the country since a failed coup to overthrow him in May last year.

More than 450 people have been killed since President Pierre Nkurunziza pursued and won a third term last year- a move his opponents say violated the constitution and a peace deal that ended a civil war in 2005. Tit-for-tat violence by rival sides has left both government officials and members of the opposition dead.

Meanwhile, as EAC leaders will consider EU-EAC Economic Partnership Agreement which would lift trade barriers between the two organizations, Rwanda and Kenya already signed the deal. Tanzania continues to maintain its hard line position to sign the document.

Exports to European Union from the East African community bloc are dominated by coffee, flowers, fish, tobacco and vegetables, amounting to Euros 2,614 million last year, while EU exports to EAC such as machinery and mechanical appliances, vehicles and pharmaceutical products hit Euros 4,061 million in the same year.

Rwanda exports to EU mainly coffee, tea and minerals were valued at $50.7 as of April this year.

Source: News of Rwanda.