Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) members states have today convened for consultations about protocol that advocates for free movement of people within member states in the region.
The protocol that is currently anchored by South Sudan, advocates for among others free transportation of goods from one state to another, harmonization of labour laws and good and safe environment for refugees and right of residence in any member state.
According to Uganda’s Internal Affairs Minister Gen. Jeje Odongo the just kicked off consultations follows last year’s meeting that was held in South Sudan where officials were implored to endorse the protocol.
“The protocol is in line with the 1986 agreement that led to the establishment of IGAD and states are about to reach at modalities that will facilitate good movement of people as well as controlling bad movement in the region .” Gen. Odongo observed at Sheraton hotel.
However, the Foreign Minister for South Sudan Martin Lomuro said, after this four days meeting in Uganda, IGAD members will proceed to Ethiopia in May for the last meeting thereafter, there will be rounds of negotiations for the adoption of the protocol in December year.
According to Lucy Laxbacher an IGAD expert said this protocol advocates for free movement of people not only to Uganda as some people say however to other member’s countries to carry out businesses among other activities.
Officials says due to political uncertainty that is rooming in South Sudan, the protocol should be signed to create safe and good atmosphere for over one million South Sudanese seeking for asylum around member states.
The bloc comprises of Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea however according to Gen. Odongo, consultations about the ratification of the protocol is expected to be finalized by December 2018.