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Kenya secures a UN Security Council seat

Author: Daniel Danis | Published: Thursday, June 18, 2020

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday during a virtual campaign with permanent representatives of the UN. PHOTO// PSCU, Standard

Kenya has won a non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council after a had-fought diplomatic battle against a fellow IGAD country on Thursday.

Kenya was pitted against Djibouti for the African group seat held by South Africa.

Kenya scored a resounding 129 votes, beating Djibouti with 62 votes.

In the first round of voting, which took place on Wednesday, Kenya secured 113 votes against Djibouti’s 78.

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

It positioned itself as a country with a wealth of experience as “an anchor state and guarantor of regional peace and security.”

The country touted its willingness to welcome refugees from South Sudan and Somalia and her support to the two countries’ fragile governments.

Kenya insisted that it made immense contributions in the process leading to the signing of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Government of Sudan and the SPLM. It further argued that Kenya played a key role in the Somali peace process.

Djibouti had argued its strategic location as a defence base for diverse countries including France, the United States, China and Japan.

But only 128 of 193 votes were needed for Kenya to secure a position at the UN Security Council.

Kenya now joins Tunisia and Niger as Africa’s representatives on the UN Security Council.

As a member of the council, Kenya can participate in the imposition of sanctions on countries and individuals, authorise the use of force to preserve peace as well as electing judges of the International Court of Justice.

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

Kenya served at the council between 1973 -1974 and 1997-1998, while Djibouti served only once, 1993-1994.

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