Blow to Djibouti as Algeria endorses Kenya's bid for Security Council seat
NAIROBI, Kenya - The race for UN Security Council non-permanent seat continues to take shape, with realignments of unlikely partners eclipsing the entire campaign.
Djibouti, one of the African contenders, suffered an immense blow on Wednesday after Algeria formally endorsed Kenya for the seat.
Algeria is a key member of 22-member Arab League nations, in whom Djibouti is banking on ahead of June 2020 showdown with Kenya.
Incoming Algerian ambassador to Kenya, Selma Malika Haddadi, said her country is convinced that Kenya is best-placed to advance Africa’s interests at the UNSC.
Kenya’s re-election as a member of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council, as well as an endorsement of its candidature by the AU, she said, were testimonies of its front-runner position.
“Algeria fully and actively supports Kenya’s candidacy,” she said on Wednesday while presenting her credential to President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House in Nairobi.
Besides the Arab League nations, Djibouti, which is set to formally launch the bid on December 5th (today), enjoys support from Francophone nations.
Kenya has continued with charm offensive against Djibouti, with Uhuru himself campaigning in Saudi Arabia last month.
In August, AU backed Kenya's bid after Nairobi garnered 37 votes. Djibouti, which scored 13, surprised AU when it vowed to continue with the campaigns for the seat.
Monica Juma, Kenya's Foreign Affairs minister, is currently in the Far East where she's rallying for Kenya's agenda.
In Indonesia on Wednesday, Juma said, "Kenya has singled environmental sustainability as a core agenda for its campaign for the tenure at the UNSC."
Earlier on Tuesday, Vietnam endorsed Kenya's bid when Juma visited. The latest endorsements comes barely a week after Tanzania supported Kenya.
On the other hand, Djibouti has insisted that Kenya is not suitable for the seat, citing the maritime dispute with Somalia as one of the 'weakest diplomatic abilities'.
The two nations are facing off at the International Court of Justice, which will start hearing the Indian Ocean maritime dispute from June next year.
Despite having a normalised relationship with Kenya, Somalia backs Djibouti's quest. President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mohamed Farmajo met in November where they solved pressing issues.