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Akombe still an employee of the UN but on unpaid leave, press conference told in New York

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Akombe still an employee of the UN but on unpaid leave, press conference told in New York

Akombe still an employee of the UN but on unpaid leave, press conference told in New York
August 20
13:43 2017





The UN says that IEBC commissioner Roselyne Akombe will “fairly soon” return to the global organisation, further fuelling speculation about her future at the elections body.

Dr Akombe worked at the UN for 15 years there before taking unpaid leave to come to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

“I am aware that she was on a leave of absence. At some point, I believe, fairly soon, it will be expiring and then she will return to her duties in the Department of Political Affairs,” UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told a UN press briefing on Thursday.

That Dr Akombe is still an employee of the UN, a body that appears keen on having her back before the completion of the six-year-term, has fuelled speculation that her trip to the US this week was to renew her status at the global body.

The following is a near-verbatim UN transcript of tThursday’s briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General.

Question:  Sure.  I want to ask about Kenya and then about the Ng Lap Seng case. As you know, in… as you… as you may know in Kenya, the… the former or future DPA (Department of Political Affairs) employee Roselyn Akombe, who has given a leave of absence to work on the Electoral Commission there, attempted to leave the country and was detained at the airport. It’s now said that she’s come to New York for meetings.  So, I wanted to know two things.  Number one, is she having any meeting with the UN, since you said she’s coming to New York on official business?  Number two, when she was given this leave of absence — it’s become quite controversial.  As you know, the commission is getting sued for being not less than impartial — was there any… did the Ethics Office look at this… at this granting of a… of a leave of absence?  What… what’s her current status with the UN?  And, also, it’s come up because she appealed to the US embassy there.  For purposes of UN, is she from Kenya or from the United States?

Deputy Spokesman:  I wouldn’t have any comment on her nationality.  I don’t comment on the nationality of staff members. But… [inaudible]

Question:  Given that the person was detained and… okay.

Deputy Spokesman:  But I am aware that she was on a leave of absence.  At some point, I believe, fairly soon, it will be expiring and then she will return to her duties in the Department of Political Affairs.

Question:  So she has no contacts in the UN during this week?  Because it’s a big story in Kenya that she’s come to New York and she says she coming to New York for work related to the election.  So, I guess my question to you is, does this New York visit have any UN connection?

Deputy Spokesman:  I wouldn’t comment on her work until she’s re-joined the United Nations.  She’s not… at the time that she’s on leave, she is a separate individual.  Ms. Akombe, at some point, will re-join the Department of Political Affairs, and then she’ll be a UN staffer.

 

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