Kenya has hit back at Djibouti for contesting against its endorsement by AU to represent Africa at the United Nations Security Council.

Through the ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kenya said it considers the matter no longer about a candidature but about the values and the principles it has chosen to abide by.

This comes after Djibouti president Ismaïl Omar Guelleh had earlier in the day issued a statement saying by AU endorsing Kenya’s candidature it violated the rules and procedures.

President Guaelleh said Djibouti ought to be Africa’s sole representative for the non-permanent seat for the 2021/2022 year based on the Africa groups and AU’s clear rules and longstanding precedents for selecting a candidate.

The Republic of Djibouti with the support of many fellow African countries openly and vigorously challenged the validity of the flawed endorsement in 2019.

“The AU Executive council decision not to endorse the 2019 recommendation of the AU PRC evidently makes the recommendation by this committee to endorse Kenya for the African Group’s 2021-2022 Non-permanent United Nations Security Council clearly illegitimate and void,” Djibouti said.

But Kenya in its response said it has remained restrained, choosing to run a dignified campaign that upholds African values and which focuses on the contribution it intends to make towards creating a just and peaceful world.

Kenya said it is however disturbed by a persistent and dishonorable campaign that Djibouti has been using to misrepresent the facts.

The ministry said while AU’s endorsement for Kenya’s candidature was final and not subject to review, attempts to have the executive reconsider the matter in Addis Ababa found no traction among the AU member states and were flatly rejected to extend that Djibouti failed to raise the issue at the Assembly of Heads of State and Government.

Kenya, therefore, distances itself from any campaign that brings dishonour and disrespect to the African Union and any of its Member States,” read a statement to newsrooms.

Kenya said AU’s endorsement is a solemn responsibility entrusted to it to carry the hopes and aspirations of Africa and to make a difference.

“It is a responsibility for which Kenya is well prepared and a duty that Kenya embraces with deep sense of purpose,” the statement read.

Kenya last week asked the Africa Union to ensure it protects the integrity of the continental organisation and fidelity to its procedures over Djibouti’s insistence to continue its bid for the UN Security Council non-permanent seat.

Foreign Affairs CS Raychelle Omamo, while appreciating AU’s endorsement of Kenya as Africa’s candidate for the UNSC seat, talked of the need to ensure the organisation’s procedures are respected.

“CS Omamo appreciated AU’s endorsement of Kenya as Africa’s candidate for a non-permanent seat of the UNSC for the period 2021-2022 and expressed Kenya’s conviction on the need to protect the integrity of the Union and fidelity to its procedures,” Foreign Affairs said in a dispatch on Wednesday.

CS Omamo held consultations with  AU Commission chairman Moussa Faki in Addis Ababa, with sources saying she sought clarification on why Djibouti is still in the race.

Kenya in August last year won the second round of voting at the AU, effectively getting the UN Security Council endorsement.

It garnered 37 votes against Djibouti’s 13 in a vote taken in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Kenya was, after the vote, confident that with AU’s endorsement, it would have an easy campaign to secure the seat.