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Kiir endorses Raila for AU Commission Chair

By William Madouk


President Salva Kiir Mayardit has formally endorsed the candidacy of Kenya’s veteran opposition leader, Raila Odinga, for the position of Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC).

President Salva Kiir Mayardit met with Raila Odinga at the State House in Juba on Thursday.

According to Odinga, who is the leader of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party in Kenya, President Kiir expressed his support for Raila’s bid and urged the East African Community (EAC) member states to rally behind Odinga’s candidacy.

“Had a very productive meeting in Juba with the President of South Sudan. Thank you, H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, for hosting me,” said Odinga.

“Your support and commitment to rallying the entire EAC block behind my AUC Chair candidacy are greatly appreciated,” he added.

The AUC chairperson is the chief executive officer of the African Union, responsible for implementing the organization’s decisions and managing its day-to-day operations.

The position is highly coveted, with several prominent African leaders expected to vie for it in the upcoming AU election.

On Thursday, February 29, Raila said he had courted support from six presidents and was reaching out to more.

Already backing him are Kenya’s President William Ruto, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Samia Suluhu (Tanzania), Felix Tshisekedi (Democratic Republic of Congo), Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa and South Sudan’s Salva Kiir.

Elsewhere, Somalia’s former minister for foreign affairs, Fawzia Adam, entered the race to succeed Moussa Faki as the African Union Commission (AUC) chair.

Whilst Raila has the support of the Kenyan government, Fawzia is being backed by the Federal Republic of Somalia government under President Hassan Mohamud.

If Fawzia’s bid succeeds, she will become the second woman to head the African Union secretariat.

The AUC chairperson post falls vacant in 2025 following the lapse of Moussa Faki’s second and last term.



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