President Kagame reveals reasons behind EAC meeting postponement

By Elina Jonas Ruzindaza
On 28 April 2020 at 03:30

President Kagame explained why the Heads of State of the East African Community (EAC) did not hold a meeting that studies on joint strategies to combat the Coronavirus Pandemic in the region, stressing that cooperation in resolving this common problem is the best way.

In a press conference on Monday, President Kagame said that since the Coronavirus was recorded in the region at the EAC level, many more meetings took place among which are those with of the Ministers of Health and Family Affairs, and these agreed on a common strategy to fight the epidemic.

The meeting focused on preventing the spread of Coronavirus and developing strategies to address its potential impact on the Region. Member States have been asked to facilitate the movement of trucks and cargos, and even to set up checkpoints on their borders.

President Kagame has said that these measures are not enough and that there is still a need to have more meetings and add in efforts in the fight of the pandemic in the region, which is why the heads of state have tried to hold meetings that provide guidelines but were not able to.

"That did not happen because the representatives of the three countries were unable to reconcile with the rest of us, at that meeting,” he said.

President Kagame went on to say that the desire to re-convene the EAC Summit was extended for the second time so that the meeting could be held on a different date that will be in the favor of everyone but also that no one was ready to attend.

President Kagame also said that there are other issues for the EAC, which should be worked on together in finding solutions through facilitation and integration, especially in terms of cross-border activities such as trucks and drivers.

EAC countries continue to face significant challenges in increasing the number of cross-border truck drivers and their assistants who continue to be infected with the Coronavirus in large numbers.

President Kagame said: "As you have seen on the Rwandan side, we are seeing this issue. As we take steps to prevent and stop the virus, we know we had more healed people than the sick, those in the cage, but all of a sudden, cross-border operations have brought more number in speed and we’re trying to deal with it."

On the other hand, the Head of the country said, "There is no better way to deal with it than through regional cooperation, coordination, and mutual understanding to resolve this common issue."

President Kagame responded to those who think that EAC’s failure to work together to find a solution to the Coronavirus epidemic would be due to a gap in its leadership.

He said that he has responsibilities as a leader of one of the member states and as leader of EAC, but being a family leader has some barriers that prevent you from doing much even if you want to do it.

He emphasized that even if you are the leader of EAC, countries continue to govern themselves in the best way they want but find that working together to deal with the problem is more important than anything else.

So far in Rwanda, there has been 207 Coronavirus infected while 93 have been cured, with no deaths. In Burundi when they were 11, one died and four healed.

In Tanzania, there are 299 infected and 10 dead and 48 already healed. Uganda has infected 79 of them, 46 are cured and no one has died. In South Sudan, there are 6 no one who has been cured or died. In Kenya, there are 363 of the 14 killed and 114 already cured.

President Kagame stressing that cooperation in resolving this common problem is the best way.
President Kagame reveals reasons behind EAC meeting postponement