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Nigeria, other African countries abstain from voting to suspend Russia from UN Human Rights Council

The resolution received 93 votes in favour, 24 against, and 58 abstentions. African countries like South Africa, Cameroon, and Ghana abstained from the vote.

• April 7, 2022
United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council [Photo credit: CFR]

Nigeria 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, 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 93 votes in favour, 24 against, and 58 abstentions. African countries like South Africa, Cameroon, and Ghana abstained from the vote. 

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.

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.

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.

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

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