October 2023-On Friday, 27th October, the UN General Assembly approved a non-binding resolution calling for a humanitarian truce in Gaza. The 193-member global body adopted the resolution by a vote of 120-14 with 45 abstentions. Our latest infographic breaks down the data on the African position at the UNGA.
Over a third (39) of the countries that voted in favour of the resolution were African. Just 6 African countries abstained, and not a single African country voted against the resolution. However, when it came to a Canadian amendment backed by the United States and Israel to unequivocally condemn the 7 October “terrorist attacks” by Hamas, which also demanded that Hamas immediately release the hostages it took during the violent incursion into Israel, only 7 African countries voted in support of this amendment, and 23 African countries felt so strongly they voted against the amendment.
Humanitarian Truce in Gaza
The voting pattern of African countries strongly mirrors the collective continental position in the African Union statement published not long after the attacks on the 7th of October, 2023. In the statement, the AU Chairperson called for both sides to put an end to the military hostilities and return to the negotiation table to implement the principle of the two states living side-by-side.
Indeed, the adoption of the resolution calling for a “humanitarian truce” which the African continent deeply supports, is a step in a pan-African position regarding the conflict. But a humanitarian truce doesn’t mean an end to this episode of violence, not to talk of a durable and sustainable peace. The resumption of violence has caused countries the world over, including in Africa, to reaffirm and emphasise the importance of the two-state solution.
While there is a longstanding consensus among African nations that the two-state solution is the best approach for durable and sustainable peace between Israel and Palestine, there simply has not been any real practical initiative at the international level to implement this solution. This can be seen as the inspiration for China calling for the convening of a “more authoritative, wide-ranging and effective international peace conference” soon.
Overall, African countries have avoided a recency bias in their view of the latest flare-up of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Even a country like Kenya, which voted in favour of both the original text and the amendment, highlighted that Hamas’ revised, supposedly moderated 2017 Charter “still harbors intentions to destroy Israel and its Jewish people.” The African Union’s understanding of the conflict also strongly acknowledges Israel’s systematic violation of the rights of Palestinians, and most importantly, it recognises the failure of the implementation of the two-state solution as a stumbling block to lasting peace between the two nations. As such, the African position is that stakeholders work with partners to take practical and diplomatic steps towards the implementation of the two-state solution. This is the African proposition for lasting peace based on the data.
To find out how Development Reimagined can support you, your organisation, or Government, please email the team at email@example.com.
Special thanks go to Ovigwe Eguegu and Sena Voncujovi for their work on the graphics and for collecting/analysing the underlying data and this accompanying article.
The data was collated primarily from the United Nations Digital Library, the African Union Commission’s public statement, UN African Country Representatives’ statements from October 27, 2023, and various news articles.
We remain open to more detailed briefings and requests on this topic – both in terms of African views on the Gaza situation as well as implications for African countries of the unrest. If you spot any gaps or have any enquiries, please send your feedback to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will aim to respond ASAP.