Djibouti playing wrong card in its pursuit for UN seat

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As Djibouti goes against the African Union (AU) endorsement of Kenya for the United Nations Security Council seat, one thing that it is playing out very strongly is to portray itself as a victim of an intimidating Big Brother in an East African region where Kenya is a powerful political and economic power.

By doing so however, the Horn of Africa nation that seceded from the larger Somalia is showing the rest of the world how divided the AU is.

By also delving into the Kenya-Somalia maritime border row, the Djibouti government is telling the world that Kenya cannot be trusted with the UNSC because it will be a threat to regional security.

It is already taking sides even before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) reaches a verdict, itself a defeatist move.

Djibouti lost twice to Kenya at the AU and conceded defeat. To go back and claim Kenya’s nomination was irregular is insincerity at its lowest level.

Both countries are members of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) and, between the two of them, Kenya is highly credited for its efforts to secure peace and stable governments in the region.

Kenya’s hospitality to the peoples of Somalia and South Sudan is beyond doubt. It played a very big role in the formation of the Transitional Government of Somalia when it hosted the Eldoret and Mbagathi peace processes, which resulted in the above-mentioned Somali government in Kenya and its relocation after one year to Mogadishu.

It is the same story with South Sudan: Kenya has been in the thick and thin of it.

When President Uhuru Kenyatta says Kenya deserves this UN seat, I don’t think he is bulldozing but stating the facts.

For Djibouti to play the victim’s card and seek sympathy votes while riding on the claim that Kenya is the regional tormentor is diplomatically wrong and not in the African spirit of brotherhood.

Kenya is working hard to get a seat at the UN Security Council. This is fine with me, but let us go back three years.

During the African Union Heads of State or Government Summit, the outgoing AU chairman, then-Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, opened his speech by dwelling on the UN.

He spoke for more than 30 minutes, in which he decried the way Africa was ‘maltreated’ at the UN.

Mugabe ‘sent’ then-UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to “them” to tell “them” that Africans were not lesser human beings.

He spoke about “their white skins and pink noses”. But he hastened to add that Ban was a good man, “but you do not come from those places. We know where you come from.”

He lamented the veto at the UN and asked why China, India and Africa, with a combined population of more than three billion, could not get a veto

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