CS Clashes With UN Over Somalia Elections

  • File photo of President Uhuru Kenyatta when he met Kenyans living in Namibia. PSCU
  • Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma has condemned the United Nations (UN) for making tough demands on Somalia's electoral body, Jubbaland Electoral and Boundaries Commission (JIEBC) ahead of Thursday's, August 22, 2019, presidential elections.

    According to reports by Nation, Juma wrote to UN's Under-Secretary for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo, on Sunday indicating that the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) was being overly critical on the matter.

    After the registration period for presidential hopefuls closed on July 26, the commission agreed to add 72 more hours after some aspirants pleaded with the international community to push for more time and relax some of the conditions set by the poll agency.

    UNSOM boss James Swan pleaded for more days for candidates to be registered, arguing that their participation would minimise the risk of violence.

    Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma speaking at a past event.
    Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma speaking at a past event

    However, CS Juma stated that Kenya was concerned about the UN's position noting that it was insensitive to the circumstances within which the Jubbaland elections were being conducted.

    “The election in Jubbaland cannot be expected to be perfect. However, the JIEBC has, in the face of daunting challenges, done its best to ensure that the vote is as fair, inclusive, transparent, credible and humanely as possible,” she added.

    It also emerged, on Tuesday, that while Swan claimed to be making demands on behalf of the international community, Juma clarified that there had been no consultations.

    Swan had stated that he was speaking for the UN, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, Italy, Kenya, Denmark, the US, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, Ireland, the European Union, France and the UK.

    “There are no additional steps required to improve the process as necessary measures were taken. The commission believes constitutional and legal requirements were fulfilled on the conduct of electoral process in line with the constitution and electoral laws,” JIEBC chairman Hamza Barre stated on Sunday in a letter addressed to Swan.

    On Monday, Barre rejected calls to extend the reopened window for candidate registration, insisting that the commission had consulted everyone involved in the poll and that election would go on as planned.

    A man casts his ballot on November 16, 2016, in Somalia
    A man casts his ballot on November 16, 2016, in Somalia