Monday, December 5, 2022

Botswana abstains to vote in Russia’s suspension from UN human rights council

Botswana abstained from voting in Thursday’s suspension of Russia from the Human Rights Council of the UN General Assembly.

A total of 93 member nations voted in favour of the suspension of the eastern bloc which has continued its invasion of Ukraine for nearly two months.

Twenty-four other countries, however, voted against it. Despite this, the resolution had a two-thirds majority of those voting, excluding members abstaining to vote in the 193-member Assembly.

Botswana’s abstinence underlines the country’s hazy position on the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. Last month, the country emerged as one of  few African countries that offered to co-sponsor the United Nation Security Council’s draft resolution that called on Russia to reverse its ongoing military attack on Ukraine.

Botswana was one of the 87 out of the 193 members of the United Nations that supported the United States-backed resolution that condemned Moscow’s ‘aggression’ against Ukraine. The resolution demanded that Moscow immediately withdraw its forces from Ukrainian territory.

Asked to state Botswana’s official position on the conflict the Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation could not offer a tailor made response to the war suffice it to say “as a Member State of the United Nations, Botswana subscribes to the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations which enjoins its members to respect the sanctity of territorial integrity and sovereignty.”

The Ministry’s Spokesperson Mavis Matenge said Botswana’s position is informed by her commitment to the principles and purpose of the United Nations Charter and the rules-based order, and to upholding the principles, as espoused in Article 1 of the Charter.  

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