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Kenya begins two-year UN Security Council tenure

Author: Jale Richard | Published: Monday, January 4, 2021

Kenyan flag will be hoisted outside the UNSC Chamber, 23 years since the country last served/Twitter/@ForeignAffairsKenya

Kenya has officially begun its two-year seat at the United Nations Security Council.

The traditional official flag installation ceremony for incoming members will be held today at the UN headquarters in New York.

Kenya landed the seat after defeating Djibouti in June 2020 to replace South Africa at the world’s peace and security body.

Tunisia and Niger are other African representatives.

The Security Council has 10 non-permanent members in addition to the 5 permanent members — Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States.

The body is charged with, among other duties, ensuring international peace and security, establishing peacekeeping operations, enacting international sanctions, and authorizing military action.

Kenya campaigned on a track record of democracy and multilateralism, peace, and global solidarity.

Being a neighbor to South Sudan, Kenya is the rapporteur of the frontline countries of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development –IGAD that have been supporting the peace process in South Sudan.

It is one of the largest foreign investors in the country, with investments in construction, insurance, and banking.

Kenya is also home to thousands of South Sudanese refugees who fled the country’s civil war.

Analysts believe South Sudan will benefit from Kenya’s new position as one of the non-permanent African representatives to the United Nations Security Council.

Political analyst Dr. James Okuk told Eye Radio in June last year that Kenya will use its position at the UN Security Council to ensure South Sudan restores peace.

Dr. Okuk said a return to peace in South Sudan means more returns in Kenya’s investments in the country.

However, in recent years, Kenya’s role in South Sudan has come under criticism.

In 2019, a report by a US-based The Sentry blamed Kenya and other neighboring countries for working with South Sudan’s leaders to aid corruption, state capture, and civil war.

But Kenya has remained tight-lipped on the matter.

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