By Emmanuel Nduka
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Thursday voted to suspend Russia from the organisation’s leading human rights body amid allegations that Russian soldiers killed civilians while retreating from a region around Ukraine’s capital.
Recent video footage had showed dead bodies littered in the region. President Volodymr Zelensky had also tendered video evidence while he joined a meeting virtually with the UNGA on Wednesday.
As a follow-up to Wednesday’s meeting, the United States-initiated resolution on Thursday achieved the two-thirds majority of UNGA voting members required to pass, with 93 votes cast in favour and 24 against.
However, a total of 58 countries abstained, but their votes did not count towards the final tally.
Responding to the ruling, Ukraine on said it was “grateful” for the decision to suspend Russia from the Council, saying “war criminals” should not be represented in the body.
“War criminals have no place in UN bodies aimed at protecting human rights,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter. “Grateful to all member states which supported the relevant UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) resolution and chose the right side of history,” he added.