ENTEBBE, UGANDA: Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Ugandan President YoweriMuseveni have agreed to open a new round of talks with Tanzania to address the issues that have been causing rifts in the East African Community.
Mr Odinga and President Museveni held talks at State House Entebbe during a meeting initiated by the Ugandan leader.
During the three hour meeting, the two also agreed on the need to engage the leadership of Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi to ensure the EAC moves ahead with all its member states by accommodating and addressing the concerns of each member state.
Mr Odinga and President Museveni expressed hope that a consensus can be reached ahead of the EACSummit scheduled for Kampala at the end of November.
President Museveni shared my Odinga’s concern that a split of the East African Community would have serious economic repercussions for Kenya and Uganda and it could also pose fresh security challenges in the region.
During the meeting, President Museveni asked Mr Odinga to seek audience with the other leaders with a view to bridging the gap and preparing ground for talks before the Summit.
Two weeks ago, Mr Odinga warned of a possible split of the EAC because Tanzania was feeling sidelined and called on the heads of state to do everything to ensure the region moves together.
Mr Odinga also warned that Kenya and the rest of EAC stand to suffer immensely economically ifTanzania were to team up with DRC and Burundi in another union.
He proposed to regional heads of State that a panel of statesmen from the EAC be put together to work out a mechanism to resolve the impasse and put the union back on track.
On Wednesday, President Museveni supported need for more discussions.-standardmedia.