South Sudan, 17 African nations refrain from condemning Russian incursion
South Sudan and 17 other African nations refrained from voting Wednesday as the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) strongly condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In an extraordinary session, 141 of the 193 UN member states approved a resolution condemning Russia’s actions against Ukraine, suggesting increased international pressure on Moscow. The resolution demands that Moscow cease fighting and evacuate its armed troops, with the goal of politically isolating Russia at the UN.
Kenya, Ghana, Gabon, Rwanda, Djibouti, Congo, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Benin, Nigeria, Egypt, and Zambia backed the decision, which is primarily symbolic but lacks legal heft.
South Sudan, along with 35 other nations, including China, refrained from voting. Sudan, Burundi, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, Mali, Mozambique, Algeria, Central African Republic, and Namibia all voted no.
Eritrea was the only African nation to vote against the resolution, which was also opposed by Belarus, North Korea, Syria, and Russia.
The resolution acknowledges Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, while UN member states express concern over the targeting of civilians in Ukraine.
“The message of the General Assembly is loud and clear,” stated UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Stop the fighting in Ukraine right now. Now is the time to put the weapons down. Now is the time to open the door to conversation and diplomacy.”
He urged the international community to act fast, saying that the situation in Ukraine is deteriorating and that “the ticking clock is a time bomb.”
On Tuesday, European Union ambassadors in South Sudan pushed the South Sudanese government to vote against Russia’s actions against Ukraine.