Philadelphia, PA – A vote on Thursday at the United Nations General Assembly shows a total of 35 African countries in the General Assembly voting against the world super power the U.S. to reject its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state of Israel.
The U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley issued a threat to countries which voted against the US saying international funding assistance could be cut off. Then candidate Trump had vowed during campaigning that, if elected, he would move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
African countries which voted against the US include:
United Republic of Tanzania and Zimbabwe
Togo was the only African nation which joined in support of the United States along with Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau.
African countries which abstained from the vote included:
South Sudan and Uganda
There were no votes recorded for the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Swaziland and Zambia
Of the 16 member nations of the sub-regional economic grouping known as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), all voted against the U.S. declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel except for Togo which supported the US while Benin abstained from voting.
Sierra Leone, as an ECOWAS member, recorded no vote.
Of the 15 member countries of the southern Africa regional economic grouping – the South Africa Development Authority (SADC) Swaziland, Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia recorded no votes , while Lesotho and Malawi abstained.
20 African countries comprise the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), a free trade region which stretches from Libya to Swaziland.
An 8-country trade bloc in east Africa makes up the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and include Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, the Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda. The countries of South Sudan and Uganda recorded no vote at the UN General Assembly meeting on the issue while the rest of the members of the group against the United States.
Of the 5 nation Arab Maghreb Union, a trade and political bloc of North African nations consisting of Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia, all voted against the U.S.
35 African nations joined the world community in defying the U.S. at the U.N vote to demand that the world super power rescind its declaration of the contested city of Jerusalem as the capital of of Israel. The non-binding and symbolic vote puts the U.S. in an awkward ad isolated position internationally.
Even major allies like the UK, Japan, German and France voted for the UN Resolution.
It is unclear why Togo, the lone African nation, sided with the U.S. This long time African ally of the U.S. is facing political upheaval with calls and protests against President Faure Gnassingbe to step down from power.
Sierra Leone recorded no vote and although no explanation was given, and it is assumed that the outgoing Koroma Administration is playing safe so not to hamstring the “Jerusalem position” of a new government which takes over following elections in March, 2018.
The U.S. Ambassador to the UN, following the vote, declared it null and void and re-echoed the position of President Donald Trump to cut of aid packages to countries which voted against the U.S.
“We will remember it when we are called upon once again to make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations,” Ms. Haley said. “And we will remember when so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit.”
Sub-Sahara African countries are the biggest recipient of U.S. economic and development aid with the bulk going to the following countries in fiscal 2017:
Nigeria – $604.8 million
Ethiopia -$512.6 million
Kenya – $618.5 million
Uganda -$457 million
Zambia -$417 million
Egypt – $150 million
Senegal – $100.8 million
Liberia – $95 million
Ghana and Ivory Coast – $145.4 million
Egypt is the recipient of about $1.31 billion in security assistance.
It remains to be seen how the non-support and defiance of African countries against the U.S. on the “Jerusalem Declaration” will affect future economic and security assistance.
By Emmanuel Abalo
West African Journal Magazine