Tanzania unhappy with snub by EAC member states, eyes partnership with DRC


Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

From Right: Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya), Paul kagame (Rwanda) and Yoweri Museveni (Uganda) during the during the 3rd infrastructure summit in Rwanda. (Photo:PSCU)

Mombasa, Kenya: Tanzania has hit out at the move by Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda to sign tripartite agreements without it and is now eyeing closer relations with the mineral rich Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The Tanzanians are leading a UN military force trying to stabilise the East of the former Zaire, an intervention that has strained relations with Rwanda which is believed to support rebels in the Congo.

Lately Tanzania has been expelling nationals from EAC member states for a variety of reasons.

Tanzania occupies almost half of the total land mass in EAC but was not represented during Monday’s signing of the Single Customs Territory in Kigali, Rwanda.

In a move likely to heighten tension within the larger East African Community (EAC) economic bloc, Tanzania’s minister for East African Co-operation, Mr Samuel Sitta is quoted in Citizen Daily, Tanzanian newspaper as saying that Tanzania has not been sitting pretty as it is excluded by the three member states.

’We are not idle. With clear signals that we are being sidelined alongside Burundi, we are focusing our engagements with DRC whom we believe has great economic potential,’’ Sitta is reported saying.

Tanzania is keen to develop the railway line project that will connect Uvinza in Kigoma along the shores of Lake Tanganyika to Msongati in the DRC.

“Our problem now is that a road linking us to Goma in DRC traverses Rwanda. The Uvinza-Msongati link will solve it,” he said.

The minister added that, Tanzania-Burundi closeness would be cost-effective for the latter’s business community members, through reliance on the nearer Dar es Salaam port, against the farther Mombasa option by 900 kilometres.

He noted that a Bujumbura businessman who opts for Mombasa port route travels 900km more compared to the one who uses Dar port.

For some months now, the Kenya-Uganda-Rwanda triumvirate has been driving the integration agenda to the exclusion of Tanzania and Burundi, with whom they are supposed to operate the five-member EAC grouping.-standardmedia

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Comment on the article

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More