South Sudan conflict haunts CS Amina’s AU candidature

Kenya’s handling of the stabilization of South Sudan is among the key issues that now confront the candidature of Ambassador Amina Mohamed as the next head of the African Union (AU) Commission.

According to Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Monicah Juma, Amina’s competitors are challenging her candidature on the argument that Kenya has failed to foster peace in the troubled nation despite positioning herself as the regional kingpin.

But the PS has defended the Kenya’s position arguing that South Sudan is faced with an array of issues that remained unsolved from the onset of its independence.

“Many of those challenging our candidate claim that we have failed to foster peace in South Sudan adding that we may do very little to ensure stability in the continent. We have done our part including initiating talks that led to their independence,” Ambassador Juma said.

The PS however remained upbeat that her boss Amina will clinch the chair of the continent’s union body despite the opposition she faces adding that her credential and the president’s command in the region will work in her favour.

Ms Mohamed will face Agapito Mba Mokuy of Equatorial Guinea, Abdoulaye Bathily of Senegal and Botswana’s Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi.

Yesterday, Sudan promised to support ambassador Mohamed’s candidate following lobbying by President Uhurur Kenyatta who was on a two day state visit to Khartoum over the weekend.

The election of members of the AU Commission held in Kigali, Rwanda, in July 2016 was suspended because, after seven rounds of voting, none of the three contenders for the position of chairman obtained the required two-thirds majority.

The post became vacant after the expiry of the term of South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who had been at the commission’s helm since 2012 and did not apply for a second term.

The panel recruiting the team has already circulated the list of candidates in readiness for the election in January 2017.

Ms Mohamed has been in public service for 29 years and was once Kenya’s ambassador/permanent representative at the Kenyan Mission to the United Nations in Geneva.

The UN secretary-general then appointed her the body’s assistant secretary-general and deputy executive director at the UN Environment Programme (Unep) in Nairobi.

The minister has led Kenya in organising global conferences, starting with the Global Entrepreneurship Summit addressed by US President Barack Obama, the World Trade Organisation’s 14th ministerial conference and recently the 14th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) conference, all in Nairobi.

Her ministry has overseen several visits by world leaders to Kenya, including President Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, Italy’s Matteo Renzi and Pope Francis.


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