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South Africans “Ecstatic” over Security Council Selection

South Africa President Jacob Zuma
South Africa President Jacob Zuma

The chairman of the Walter Sisulu University Council told VOA South Africans are ecstatic the country was among the five member countries elevated to a two-year term on the U.N Security Council Tuesday.

Somadoda Fikeni, also an independent policy and political analyst, said South Africa’s election is a vote of confidence in the country by the international community.

“This is a vote of confidence by the world on South Africa because it is not long ago that South Africa was occupying the same position. And, it is unusual for the country to repeat the same position within such a short space of time with a continental endorsement, plus the support from across the world.”

Following their election, South Africa, India, Colombia, Germany and Portugal will become non-veto holding members of the Council in January with the mandate to impose sanctions, as well as deploy peacekeeping forces around the world.

U.N Security Council session
U.N Security Council session

Five out of the 15-member Security Council countries are elected to two-year terms. The newly-elected countries are expected to take the places of Uganda, Mexico, Japan, Austria and Turkey.

There are currently only five permanent members of the Security Council who hold veto-wielding power, including the United States, China, France, Russia and Britain.

Fikeni said South Africa’s election to the Security Council serves as a significant boost to the African continent.

“Coming very close after the successful hosting of the World Cup, which was branded as the Africa World Cup, it comes as a major boost to a continent which, in spite of recession, is on the verge of economic development, and has also been discovered as a source of minerals for strategic growth of the emerging market.”

He said the election will boost the “self-image of Africa, and also will make Africa very strong in terms of international calls for reforms of the United Nations.”