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Djibouti envoy says country won’t quit UNSC race despite Kenya’s endorsement by AU

Mohamed Siad Doualeh (pictured) said in a brief tweet on Wednesday that the county will country with its campaign in a bid to secure a seat in the UN Security Council for the 2021-2022 term which Kenya is eyeing/FILE – Djibouti Permanent Mission to the United Nations

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 22 – Djiboutian Permanent Representative to the United Nations has said the county will not quit the race for a non-permanent membership slot at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) despite the endorsement of Kenya’s candidature by African Union countries on Wednesday.

Mohamed Siad Doualeh said in a brief tweet on Wednesday that the country will continue with its campaign in a bid to secure a seat in the UN Security Council for the 2021-2022 term which Kenya is eyeing.

Doualeh thanked counties that had formally expressed support for Djibouti’s bid ahead of polls set for June next year at the UN headquarters in New York.

“Djibouti reaffirms its decision to continue its bid to secure a seat at the Security Council for the period 2021-2022. We thank all UN member states that have formally expressed to support Djibouti,” he said.

Kenya’s bid won the backing of the Africa Group, which comprises of all the members States of the AU making up 28 per cent of the UN membership, after garnering 37 votes against Djibouti’s 13.

Mohammed Idris Farah, Djibouti’s representative at the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC), the Africa Group organ that participated in the vote had conceded, Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs quoting him as saying he was, “sure Kenya will ably represent the continent in the UN Security Council”.

In the first round of voting held on August 5, Kenya garnered 33 votes out of 49 ballots cast, falling short of a two-third threshold.

Kenya require the support of two-thirds of UN member States (129 votes) to win a seat at the UNSC which comprises China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States sitting as permanent members with 10 fixed-term membership slots shared among African and Asian countries.

Prior to the vote, several African countries had publicly declared their support for Kenya including East African Community (EAC) Member States – Uganda, Burundi, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Rwanda – whose foreign ministers announced the support of their respective countries last November.

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Namibian President Hege Geingob pledged his country’s support in October last year.

“You have permanent support from us for the UNSC seat,” the Namibian leader said on October 19 during a joint press briefing with President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House Nairobi.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma has also lobbied for support from countries including Sweden, Egypt and South Africa.

President Kenyatta also earlier this month reached out to Caribbean countries in a bid to mobilize support for Kenya’s bid.

Kenya has previously served two terms as a UNSC non-permanent member in 1973/74 and 1997/98.

CS Juma on Wednesday exuded confidence that Kenya would win a third term after the second-round vote by the Africa Group.

“I wish to thank the AU PRC members for this determination. This endorsement is an affirmation that Kenya has remained true to the decisions and aspirations of the African Union and confirms that it is a safe and dependable pair of hands,” CS Juma remarked.

“Kenya commits to the African brothers and sisters, that we shall be a bold voice for Africa and shall steadfastly promote and defend the African position,” she added.

CS Juma had Thursday last week told the press she was confident Kenya’s bid for UNSC will sail through saying plans were afoot to mobilize the three additional vote the country required to win the backing of the Africa Group.

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She said Kenya’s candidature for the UN Security Council seat was anchored on the vital role the country plays on international peace efforts and regional stability, particularly efforts to restore order in troubled Somalia.

“You will know that since independence, our country has contributed immensely to peace and security. In fact, one of our main foreign policy pillars is search for peaceful settlement of disputes in the continent,  we have continued to anchor the search for peace and therefore it is time that we sat on the same table with decision makers on the issues of peace and security,” Juma said.

Kenya’s bid picked up momentum in November last year after East African Community (EAC) Member States – Uganda, Burundi, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Rwanda – declared their support for her candidature.

In February 2019, Kenya won another three-year term in the African Union Peace and Security Council (AU-PSC), after garnering 37 votes.

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