Kenya garners 37 votes to be re-elected to the AU Peace and Security Council (AU-PSC)

The Executive Council is a precursor of the 32th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and government scheduled for this weekend
Kenya has been re-elected to the 15-member African Union Peace and Security Council (AU-PSC), the country’s bid garnering 37 votes.

Kenya won another three-year term beginning in April at the 34th Ordinary Session of the African Union Executive Council in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, after contesting for the position with Ethiopia and Sudan.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma was among foreign ministers attending the Executive Council on Friday ahead of the 32th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and government scheduled to kick off on Sunday.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is scheduled to fly to Addis Ababa on Saturday to attend the continental summit.

The 15 PSC slots are shared on the principle of equitable regional representation with three seats allocated to Central African countries, three to East African States, two set aside for Northern Africa, three for Southern Africa, and four shared among Western African nations.

The council is established under Article 7 of the AU Protocol with the core mandate of prevention of conflicts that may lead to crimes against humanity, and undertaking peace-making, peace-building and peace-support missions.

Members lobby for PSC seats on the basis of their individual contribution to the maintenance and promotion of peace and security in the continent, commitment to financial obligations, participation in conflict resolution, as well as peace-building.

Article 5 (2) of the PSC protocol also recognises the willingness of countries to take part in resolution of regional and continental conflicts, contribution to the Peace Fund, and respect for constitutional governance, the rule of law, and human rights.

Under Article 8 of the PSC protocol, members of the organ require to marshal a two-thirds majority to make binding decisions where consensus cannot be reached.

In a recently adopted resolution following the 812th meeting of the PSC in Addis Ababa, the Council announced renewed efforts in the fight against terrorism while urging for continent-wide support to address the influx of Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs).

“The Council requests the Commission, in cooperation with Member States, to urgently compile a continental list composed of a database of persons, groups and entities involved in terrorist acts, including FTFs,” the 15-member council stated in a communiqué dated November 23, 2018.

“In the same context, Council calls on the members of the international community to share with AU Member States, the lists of persons, groups and entities involved in terrorist acts, including their nationals identified as FTFs,” PSC resolved at the time.

The Council set out to lobby for support to build the capacities of AU member States to enable them deal with the challenge of terrorism.

Kenya in December last year hosted the sixth continental peace and security conference, in what culminated into the adoption of next year’s programme for the AU-PSC.

Nairobi is also eyeing a non-permanent membership slot at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2021-2022 term at elections set to be held during the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2019.

Kenya’s UNSC bid has already been endorsed by all the six member States of the East African Community. Namibia declared support for Kenya’s bid in October last year.

The foreign affairs ministry had hoped to secure more endorsements from AU countries ahead of the launch of a campaign launch in June.

“We’re hoping that we can get an endorsement at the AU level. If that endorsement comes through, the campaign will be very easy,” CS Juma had said in September last year.

“If there’s anyone within our region who is interested in the non-permanent membership then we’re going to launch a global campaign,” she added.

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