The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution on the war in Ukraine on March 2, 2022 in which the vote overwhelming supported a call for Russia to withdraw from the country. But the voting revealed significant differences among African countries at the body. Seventeen countries from the continent abstained, 27 countries voted for the resolution and one – Eritrea – voted against it.
The vote – at the assembly’s first emergency session since 1997 – was 141 to 5, with 35 abstentions. Most Western nations voted against Russia, and were joined by Nigeria and Kenya along with 25 other countries on the continent.
South Africa’s decision to abstain has been criticised inside the country. In the BRICS alliance, of which South Africa is a member, China and India also abstained, while Brazil supported the resolution.
Ethiopia was among the African countries that were not present, but Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has issued a statement calling on all parties to exercise restraint in the crisis.