Ghana, Nigeria among West African countries that abstained from voting to suspend Russia from UN Human Rights Council

<SUNBIGHT>~Orie~8th April,2022 @ 20:37 WAT

NIGERIA, Ghana, Cameroon are among West African Countries that abstained from voting on United Nations resolution moved to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council over reports that Russian forces killed civilians while retreating from towns near the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

On Thursday 7th April, the UN General Assembly voted to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council over reports of “gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights” by invading Russian troops in Ukraine.

The resolution received a two-thirds majority of members voting, minus abstentions in the 193-member Assembly. 93 votes in favour, 24 against, and 58 abstentions. Other African countries like South Africa, Kenya, South Sudan also abstained from the vote.

58 countries abstained from the process.

Nigeria’s latest stance on UN’s resolution targeting Russia deviates from its previous position where it joined 140 other nations at the UN General Assembly to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia, China, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Syria and Vietnam were among those who voted against.

Those countries which abstained include: India, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba thanked the UN members who voted in favour of suspending Russia from the Geneva-based 47-member council, which is the UN’s leading human rights organisation.

The General Assembly, which elects members of the Human Rights Council, has suspended only one other country: Libya, in March 2011.

The meeting marked the resumption of a special emergency session on the war in Ukraine and followed reports of violations committed by Russian forces.

Following the outcome of the resolution, Moscow, according to a Reuters news report, has announced it was quitting the body.

Speaking after the vote process, Russia’s Deputy UN Ambassador Gennady Kuzmin described the move as an “illegitimate and politically motivated step ” and then announced that Russia has decided to quit the Human Rights Council altogether.

“You don’t submit your resignation after you are fired.” Ukraine’s UN Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya told reporters.

Russia says it is carrying out a ‘special military operation’ that aims to destroy Ukraine’s military infrastructure and denies attacking civilians. Ukraine and allies say Moscow Invaded without provocation.

Russia, which had been a permanent member of the UN Security Council, is now the first permanent member of the UN Security Council to have its membership revoked from any organ of the world body.

The Putin administration had been serving its second year of a three-year term on the human rights council. The suspension would bar Moscow’s delegation from speaking and voting, but its diplomats could still attend debates.■

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