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Loss will not affect relations with neighbours, says CS Amina Mohamed

By Brigid Chemweno | February 2nd 2017
Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Amina Mohamed arrives at the Intercontinental Hotel,Nairobi for a luncheon organised for her by Women In Leadership. Amina emerged 2nd in her quest for the chair of Africa Union Commisssion that was held in Addis Ababa,Ethiopia. Photo/ELVIS OGINA (Nairobi) February 1st,2016

Kenya must evaluate its relationship with its neighbours following the African Union Commission elections loss, a Cabinet secretary has said.

Speaking at a luncheon organised by women leaders in Nairobi yesterday, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said Kenya's relationship with its neighbours was important because it affected Kenyan lives daily.

"We have learned a great lesson. However, this is not going to affect the relationship we have with them. We need to get that right."

Reports indicated that South Sudan voted for Kenya but during the final stages, Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti and Tanzania did not.

Kenya was accused of failing to convince its closest allies from East Africa to vote for Amina.

"We began campaigns two and a half months ago and we had a great team that reached out to 52 countries. We had a wonderful campaign; we have not lost anything. Instead, we have gained a lot and made new friends," she said.

She thanked her bosses, President Uhuru Kenyatta for nominating her and Deputy President William Ruto for crisscrossing the continent to drum up support.

"Unluckily, matters started shifting at (the last minute) but in every election, one should be prepared to win or lose. That was a decision made by heads of state. We want a strong African Union that can make decisions in support of our economic, ICT and youth agenda among others. We have so much to do in our country and continent."

Although she declared her support for Chad Foreign Affairs minister Moussa Faki Mahamat, who won the election, Amina said the new leader had a "big responsibility to unite the continent because it is divided".

"We want a new Africa that is growing. The focus of the AU is to ensure that peace and security prevails."

Earlier, she had said the fact that 16 countries abstained was a clear manifestation of Africa's division.

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