NAIROBI, Kenya, May 21 – Kenya government has moved to seek the backing of the European Union (EU) to have the Somali based terror group Al-Shabaab listed as a terrorist organisation under the United Nations (UNSC) Resolution 1267 of 1999.
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma gave out the petition during talks with EU High Representative Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, on Tuesday.
“In combating global terrorism and sustaining the painful gains made, we urge you to support Kenya in listing the al-Shabaab as a terrorism organization under the UNSC 1267,” she urged.
Juma’s call for the listing of the Somali-based militant group under Resolution 1267 follows the abduction of two Cuban doctors attached to the Mandera County Referral Hospital on April 12 by al-Shabaab militants, a move the foreign ministry termed as a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.
Kenya’s military is part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), comprising of Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, and Ethiopia. Resolution 1267 was adopted on October 15, 1999, following repeated acts of aggression by the Taliban and groups linked to it.
UNSC had noted a significant rise in illicit production of opium, and Taliban’s capture of the Consulate-General of the Ismaic Republic of Iran and murder of Iranian diplomats in Mazar-e-Sharif.
While responding to a $ 1.5 million ransom demand by al-Shabaab in respect to the two abducted Cuban doctors, Juma said the government will not engage the militant group in ransom talks as a matter of policy.
She however said the government will continue with a security operation to have the abductees liberated. “We believe that we’ll secure their release in the ongoing security operation but as a matter of polity the government does not negotiate ransom. We’re hopeful that we shall retrieve the doctors safely back home,” the CS assured.
Juma rooted for the EU’s support for Kenya’s non-permanent membership of the UNSC for the 2021/22 term, a position seen as critical to Nairobi’s efforts to promote regional security and global peace.
“We’ve had discussions around regional peace and security matters as well as integration. We’ve discussion cooperation in Somalia, South Sudan DR Congo as well as my request for EU’s support for Kenya’s bid for UNSC,” she said.
Kenya is formally set to launch it campaign for the UNSC seat in June ahead of elections set to be held during the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September.
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. Nairobi has been a non-permanent member of the council twice in the years 1973-1974 and 1997-1998.
Kenya’s re-election to the 15-member African Union Peace and Security Council (AU-PSC), in February was seen as a shot in the arm to the third UNSC bid after the 37 nations rallied behind Nairobi.
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.
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.
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