Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed blames Africa’s division along linguistic lines as the main reason why she didn’t clinch AUC leadership on Monday (30/01/17).
Ambassador Mohamed indicated that Kenya is probing claims that the East African Community did not support her in the fight.
“Things fell apart at the last round. I think the fear from some that maybe we were going to get it (led to this). So they probably withdrew their support,” said Ms Mohamed addressing Journalists in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Tuesday (31/01/17).
She added that Kenya should draw lessons from the loss.
“Are we seen as a friend or a threat?” she told journalists, adding that “appearances are deceptive.”
“I think we are very honest people, so it is difficult to deal with deceptive people. Going forward, it is a good lesson to learn.
“If we ever vied for a continental position, we have to take all that into consideration and probably pick someone who speaks more French than English for the office.”
After seven rounds of voting, the Chadian foreign affairs minister Moussa Faki Mahamat defeated Kenya’s Mohamed and Senegal’s Abdoulaye Bathily.
Two other hopefuls included, Botswana’s Foreign Minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi and Mba Mokuy of Equatorial Guinea.
Kenya’s blow comes after months of lobbying and shuttle diplomacy by the President and his Deputy William Ruto that saw them visit many African member states to push for Amina’s election to the top AU position.
Kenya was the first to congratulate the newly-elected AUC head.
“Kenya congratulates him on a race well won. We pledge to work with him to defend the pan-African agenda of integration for Africa, as well as democracy, sovereignty and prosperity for all of its people,” a statement by Kenya’s State House spokesperson Manoah Esipisu indicated.
The 56-year-old Mahamat succeeds South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the first woman to lead the bloc of 54 states, who did not seek a second term in office after completing a four-year term.