Will the EAC ministers’ retreat bear fruits in the simmering conflict?

The East African Community (EAC) Ministerial Retreat on Peace and Security was conducted on Saturday in Zanzibar where ministers from Partner States aimed to discuss on the Relations and Integration Process.

With the objective to engage in thoughtful discussions, share insights and collectively strategise on ways to foster sustainable peace, enhance security cooperation, strengthen relationships among Partner States and move the integration agenda forward.

“It is only through cooperation and commitment to dialogue that the region can overcome peace and security challenges,” said the Secretary General of the East African Community Veronica Nduva.

Speaking at the opening session of the Retreat, the EAC Secretary General Veronica Nduva said that the retreat provided a platform for frank exchanges, strategic planning and the identification of actionable steps to enhance peace and security while deepening integration efforts within the EAC.

The retreat is the implementation of the directive given by the meeting of EAC Ministers held on 16th February, 2024 in Addis Ababa Ethiopia while preparing for a consultative meeting of the Summit of the EAC Heads of State.

During the meeting, Partner States’ Ministers of Foreign and EAC Affairs underscored the need for a retreat for in-depth conversations on pertinent issues that are holding back the integration process.

“We have the responsibility to make sure that the Community works for the people and by the people as directed by the Summit,” said January Makamba the Tanzania Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation.

The meeting comes at a time when EAC member states’ relations have deteriorated, with Burundi and Rwanda closing borders. And DRC accusing Rwanda of supporting the M23 rebels who have caused instability in the eastern part of DRC causing hundreds of deaths while displacing hundreds of thousands of people.


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