Kenya was today re-elected to the membership of the African Union Security Council in a move that has significantly boosted the country’s continental influence ahead of her bid for a non permanent seat in the UN Security Council in 2021.
The country’s re-election is a continental vote of confidence in Kenya’s competence and is expected to have positive bearing when elections to the continental body are held.
Kenya won against her northern neighbours Ethiopia and Sudan who staged a spirited campaign but lost after six rounds of voting at the ongoing 34th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council.
The session is being held ahead of the 32nd AU Summit which President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to attend.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta is also expected in the Ethiopian capital where she will attend the 22nd Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) meeting.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Cabinet Secretary Dr Monica Juma said Kenya’s re-election to the AU Security Council was a demonstration of the goodwill and confidence Kenya enjoys among its African peers. Kenya has held the seat since 2016, representing the East African region.
Dr. Juma said Kenya’s retention of the position is a major boost to the country’s momentum as it seeks to intensify its campaign for the global seat in coming months. For the UNSC seat, Kenya is competing against Djibouti.
Kenya’s performance during the first three years in the AUSC and President Kenyatta’s good working relations with other AU member Heads of State and Governments were the biggest selling points for Kenya.
During the elections, Nigeria retained its membership representing the West African region. Lesotho, Algeria and Burundi were elected to represent Southern, Northern and Central Africa respectively.
The chairmanship of the 15-member AU Security Council rotates monthly. Kenya is scheduled assume leadership next month (March 2019).
The theme of this year’s AU Heads of State and Governments Summit slated for February 10th to 11th is: “The year of refugees, returnees and Internally Displaced Persons”.