Kenya excluded from AU council
Published on February 1, 2008, 12:00 am
By Abiya Ochola
Kenya has been excluded from a new Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union.
Kenya has traditionally championed peace and security matters in the continent, but was not elected to the prestigious council.
The country was earlier expected to lead the council in its formative stages because of its record in peace missions in Sierra Leone, Yugoslavia and East Timor.
The Standard could not independently confirm if Kenya had been proposed for a slot on the council.
But sources said Foreign Affairs minister, Mr Moses Wetangula, put a strong case on Kenya. A source at the summit was quoted saying that on Monday, Wetangula tried to block plans to have the crisis discussed.
But countries such as South Africa demanded that the Kenyan conflict be treated like others in the continent.
Rwanda and Uganda were picked to represent eastern Africa, dealing a major diplomatic blow to the Kenyan delegation in Addis Ababa.
The two countries, now enjoying calm after decades of internal turmoil, have slowly taken over the enviable position Kenya enjoyed before the disputed presidential election results that has torn the country apart.
President Kibaki and Wetangula are leading the delegation to the 12th Ordinary Session of the AU, which elected members of the council.
Other countries appointed to the prestigious PSC, modelled on the UN Security Committee, are Burundi and Chad (Central Africa), Tunisia (Northern Africa), Swaziland and Zambia (Southern Africa) and Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali (Western Africa).
The AU also condemned the violation of human rights in Kenya as the post-election crisis. AU Commission Chairman, Mr Alpha Oumar Konare, warned that unless speedy measures were taken, Kenya could degenerate into genocide.
“We cannot sit and observe another genocide, after what happened in Rwanda,” he said.
Konare called for greater international participation in resolving the post-election crisis that has left nearly 1,000 people dead and half million homeless.
The economy has also been battered to the tune of Sh190 billion.
Konare called on AU Foreign ministers to ensure the implementation and respect of good governance, democracy, non-indifference and gender equality.