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UN states who backed Djibouti for security council seat? No, document ‘fabricated’

An official-looking document circulating on Facebook appears to list countries that chose Djibouti in a 18 June 2020 vote for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

The list indicates that Somalia, China, Sudan, Tanzania and Ethiopia voted for Djibouti. The small East African country was Kenya’s main rival for the seat.

One user shared it with the message: “Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia voted for Djibouti. South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC stood with Kenya. Kenya emerged victorious, Djibouti lost. Who is your true neighbour?”

Another user said: “The rest of the world voted for Kenya...Tanzania will go to war with Kenya in the not-too-distant future. The hatred! China voted against Kenya.”

Both Kenya and Djibouti failed to secure the required two-thirds majority in the first round of votes by UN member states on 17 June. In a second round the next day, Kenya secured the seat with 129 votes to Djibouti’s 62.

But does the list show how UN members voted?

Ballot is secret

A sign that the list is fake is that it includes Kosovo as one of the countries that voted for Djibouti.

According to the UN security council resolution 1244, which reaffirms the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (now Serbia), Kosovo is a part of the Republic of Serbia, under the administration of the UN.

It is not a UN member state and so cannot vote. It cannot be considered a state as it does not fulfil the basic requirement for membership.

Also, rule 92 on plenary meetings in the UN General Assembly clearly states that “all elections shall be held by secret ballot”.

Tanzania voted, campaigned for Kenya

On 24 June Citizen TV quoted Tanzania’s foreign minister Palamagamba Kabudi as saying the “document was fabricated”.

“First of all voting was conducted by the UN General Assembly, but when you look at that document it says it was the security council, which is a lie.” 

Tanzania is listed as one of the countries that voted for Djibouti.

“Tanzania did not only vote for Kenya in two rounds but we actively participated in the campaigns to make sure Kenya is elected,” Kabudi said.

Richard Gowan, UN director of the International Crisis Group, an independent organisation working to prevent conflicts around the world, retweeted the China Africa Reporting Project citing a fact-check by the online news outlet Kenyans.

“FAKE NEWS ALERT: There's a list circulating that supposedly details which countries voted for Djibouti & Kenya in last week's UN Security Council election. The list is fabricated. It's such an amateur production that it includes non-UN states like Kosovo,” the tweet reads.

Africa Check has contacted the UN about the list and will update this report when they respond. – Dancan Bwire


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