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Kenya’s UNSC seat to ‘benefit’ S.Sudan — analyst

Author: Jale Richard | Published: Monday, June 22, 2020

President Salva Kiir and President Uhuru Kenyatta in May 2019 at Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi, for the National Prayer Breakfast | Credit | Presidential press unit

Kenya’s new position as one of the non-permanent African representatives to the United Nations Security Council will benefit South Sudan, a political analyst has said.

Kenya landed the seat after defeating Djibouti last week to replace South Africa at the world’s peace and security body. Tunisia and Niger are other African representatives.

The Security Council has 10 non-permanent members in addition to the 5 permanent members, Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States.

The body is charged with, among other duties, ensuring international peace and security, establishing peacekeeping operations, enacting international sanctions, and authorizing military action.

Kenya campaigned on a track record of democracy and multilateralism, peace, and global solidarity.

Being a neighbor to South Sudan, Kenya is the rapporteur of the frontline countries of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) that have been supporting the peace process in South Sudan.

It is one of the largest foreign investors in the country, with investments in construction, insurance, and banking.

Kenya is also home to thousands of South Sudanese refugees who fled the country’s civil war.

According to a political analyst—Dr. James Okuk, Kenya will use its position at the UN Security Council to ensure South Sudan restores peace.

“Their being in the UN Security Council means they will support South Sudan in the part of the implementation of the peace agreement,” Okuk said.

“If there are sanctions or blockages put on South Sudan which can hinder the implementation of the peace agreement, I think Kenya will defend South Sudan and will try to work very hard for the sanction to be lifted so that South Sudan can progress in the implementation of the agreement in a smooth manner.”

The political commentator added, “That is an advantage that we have because Kenya is our neighbor and they have been part of our peace process so that makes it more comfortable for Juba to have a friendly neighbor in the UN Security Council.”

Dr. Okuk says a return to peace in South Sudan means more returns in Kenya’s investments in the country.

However, recently, Kenya’s role in South Sudan has come under criticism.

In 2019, a report by a US-based The Sentry blamed Kenya and other neighboring countries for working with South Sudan’s leaders to aid corruption, state capture, and civil war.

But Kenya has remained tight-lipped on the matter.

Dr. Okuk believes it is in the interest of Kenya to remain a top destination for South Sudanese money.

“Of course Kenya is a country with its own interest that it has to promote. If our people are stupid to take their money to Kenya and to put it in the banks in Kenya and invest them in Kenya, it is in the interest of Kenya,” he said.

“They will enjoy this money, they will make a profit out of this money so it is we in South Sudan who are losing.”

He urged wealthy South Sudanese to change their attitude and invest within the country.

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