THT: After both countries failed to gain enough support at first round, Kenya won the Africa spot with 129 votes against Djibouti’s 69 thus the former officially elected a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council representing the East African Region .
According to a statement UN Member States Kenya in a second round of voting on Thursday in the General Assembly, with 192 ambassadors casting their ballots during pre-determined time slots, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The run-off took place one day after elections to select five new non-permanent members to serve on the Council, based on regional groupings. Both Kenya and Djibouti had failed to secure the required two-thirds majority on Wednesday, or 128 votes. End
The Security Council which is, the UN organ that maintains international peace and security is composed of fifteen members five of whom are permanent thus hold veto powers namely China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The remaining Ten are non-permanent members a elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms, with five elected each year. Joining Kenya at the iconic horseshoe-shaped table in January are India, Ireland, Mexico and Norway. Canada lost out on Wednesday in the other contested seat, within the “Western Europe and other States” group.
They will replace Belgium, Dominican Republic, Germany, Indonesia and South Africa while Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Vietnam will remain in the Council through the end of 2021.
Following the win Somalia and Djibouti hailed Kenya’s election for a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council expressing confidence in her ability to represent the region’s interests.
The congratulations were expressed in In separate tweets, by Somalia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Isse Awad and Djibouti President Ismael Guelleh
“We extend our congratulations to Kenya as the newest representative of our region at the UN Security Council,” said president Guelleh. “I am convinced they will bring valuable contributions to the debates during their tenure in the Security Council.
Though he also congratulated president Uhuru Kenyatta and the Kenyan nation despite his country’s failure to garner the coveted UNSC seat the Djiboutian president had campaigned aggressively even going against the wishes of the African Union which had nominated Kenya.
The Somalia foreign minister whose country had joined hands with Djibouti in contesting Kenya’s candidacy filed a similar opinion wrote
“On behalf of the Gov’t and People of Somalia, I wish to extend my sincere congratulations to Kenya for getting elected as non-permanent member of the UNSC. We are confident Kenya would best represent our region’s interest,” Awad observed.
Both Somalia and Djibouti had fought hard against Kenya’s candidacy noting the East African economic powerhouse will use its position at the Security Council to undermine the maritime case currently at the International Court of Justice.
Djibouti had also contested the procedure which resulted in the endorsement of Kenya by the African Union before it opted for a parallel run.
Meanwhile Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has pledged his country will use the position to speak for the continent.
“Kenya, the President said, will endeavor to consolidate and voice Africa’s position in the Security Council and will advance its 10-point agenda as outlined during the campaign period,” a statement from the Presidency read in part.
On the other hand fears that Kenya shall utilize its Seat at the UNSC to undermine the maritime case with Somalia had been allayed by the country’s parliamentary leader of majority Aden Duale
Reacting to Kenya’s election Thursday for a non-permanent seat at the Council, Duale said the maritime case is solely the business of the Court and that his country will not intervene.
“Kenya will not use its position at the UN Security Council to undermine the ongoing case at the International Court of Justice” the National Assembly majority leader Aden Duale adding that . “I think Somalia was among countries that voted for Kenya’s candidacy at AU session (in Addis Ababa).
The area under dispute is approximately 100,000 square kilometres and is thought to contain large deposits of oil and gas. Both countries claim the area as theirs, Kenya arguing the sea border should be drawn parallel to the line of latitude, Somalia saying it should extend in the same direction as its land border.
The issue of the maritime dispute is before ICJ court, Somalia is okay with the verdict of court,” Duale said in an interview with BBC Somali. “We are brotherly countries and there is no way we can be divided at any cost.”
Somalia, which campaigned for Djibouti had warned Kenya’s election would compromise the maritime case.
By: Yusuf M Hasan