LOYALTY? Kenya "disappears" at UN General Assembly vote

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Uhuru giving back to Netanyahu?

CS Amina Mohammed at UNGA in New York at a past event. play CS Amina Mohammed at UNGA in New York at a past event. (Capital FM)

Kenya staged a no show move at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Thursday for a vote aimed at condemning the United States recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city.

Kenya found itself at crossroads owing to the cordial relationship between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu even attended a luncheon after Uhuru’s inauguration amidst a hotly contested election. This was an endorsement of the Uhuru presidency.

The move appears as Kenya giving back for the support that Israel has given including helping tackle terrorism and partnership in agriculture.

Though the Cabinet Secretary for foreign affairs has not yet issued a statement to explain why they “disappeared” pundits believe that Kenya could not vote because of its diplomatic position.

As an aid receiver, Kenya’s greatest trading partners China and Japan voted Yes to adopt the motion that orders member states of the UNGA to refrain from establishing diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.

That is probably the only move that Kenya could make in order to remain neutral. According to commentators, an abstention means a No therefore Kenya could not afford to appear to take sides.

128 nations voted in favour of the Yemen and Turkey proposed motion with only nine dissenting. Togo was the only African nation that rejected the motion alongside Honduras, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and United States.

35 other nations abstained key among them Australia and Canada. Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Haiti, Hungary, Jamaica, Kiribati, Latvia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda and Vanuatu also abstained.

According to the United Nations General Assembly resolution ES‑10/L.22 Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, East Timor, El Salvador, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Mongolia, Myanmar, Moldova, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Zambia      were absent.

UNGA resolved to declare Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital as "null and void" after Trump said that the US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city on December 6 2017. He also said that they would move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move that was met with heavy criticism worldwide.

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