Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Tanzania did not support Kenya for UN Security Council Vote

Tanzania did not support Kenya for UN Security Council Vote

Recent UN Security Council Vote: no need for ill feelings towards our good neighbor Tanzania.
Last week at the UN assembly, in a hotly contested second round vote between AU
member states, Kenya received 129 votes to Djibouti’s 62 to clinch the third non-
permanent member seat on the UN Security Council. This victory was received with
jubilation in Kenya, to many, it proved that Kenya was still viewed positively at the
global level. There was however something that left a bitter taste in the mouths of a
cross section of the Kenyan populace. The failure by our East African neighbor Tanzania
to support Kenya’s candidacy felt like betrayal. Many people were left wondering what
became of the East African Community spirit of brotherhood.

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However, it’s worth pointing out that such decisions (which country to vote for) are made
at the bureaucratic level, and by a very few number of individuals. These decisions are
also guided by political considerations and motivations. Again, influenced by the very few
elites at the top. The regular mwanainchi has no say in such matters, they may not even
be familiar with the mechanisms employed to reach such decisions.

The takeaway message from this essay is that, at a granular level, the relations
between the citizens of the two countries remain very cordial. One need not look far
beyond the way we relate in the diaspora to see this. We also have to remember that
the geographical demarcations called borders were an introduction of the colonizers
during the scramble for Africa. It’s true that some borders of sorts existed even before

the arrival of the Europeans. Yes, there were tribal and kingdom boundaries, but there
was also significant interaction in trade, marriages, alliances etc. And, yes, there were the
occasional conflicts and common disagreements. The same that can be found in any
family. But those never broke our neighborly brotherhood. So, the UN Security Council
Vote was just that, a vote. After its tenure is over, Kenya will vacate the seat and
another country will take its’ place. On the other hand, our good relationship as
neighbors and brothers/sisters (Kenya and Tanzania) is here to stay.

Kiongo Muigai.
Birmingham, AL.

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