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Nigeria’s undiplomatic stab in the back

Eight countries- France, Russian Federation, China, Luxembourg, Argentina, Jordan, Chile and Council rotational president Chad, cast their votes in favour of the resolution. The United…

Eight countries- France, Russian Federation, China, Luxembourg, Argentina, Jordan, Chile and Council rotational president Chad, cast their votes in favour of the resolution. The United States and Australia cast the two negative votes.  
Until shortly before the vote on Tuesday, diplomats had expected the resolution to get nine yes votes. But Nigeria abstained, with Nigerian permanent representative to the UN, Joy Ogwu, echoing the U.S. position in saying that the path to peace lay “in a negotiated solution”.
A single positive vote from Nigeria in line with numerous African Union resolutions siding with the oppressed against occupation, as in apartheid-era South Africa, would have made a difference in the adoption of the resolution.  The resolution needed nine votes; it certainly would have been vetoed by the U.S. But Nigeria’s vote was a dirty-job action that saved the U.S. the embarrassment of having to use its veto against a just and peaceful end to Israeli occupation.
One of the most important intervention of the world body UN Security Council Resolution 242, which was adopted unanimously by the Security Council on November 22, 1967, in the aftermath of the Six-Day Arab-Israeli  War. Sponsored by Britain, it was adopted under Chapter VI of the UN Charter. The preamble refers to the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East in which every state in the area can live in security.” Operative Paragraph One “Affirms that the fulfilment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:
(i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;
(ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for, and acknowledgment of, the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.”
As of 2013, Israel had been condemned in 45 resolutions by United Nations Human Rights Council alone since its creation in 2006—the Council had resolved almost more resolutions condemning Israel than on the rest of the world combined. The UN General Assembly has adopted a number of resolutions saying that the ‘strategic relationship’ with the United States encourages Israel to pursue aggressive and expansionist policies and practices. The 9th Emergency Session of the General Assembly was convened at the request of the Security Council when the United States blocked efforts to adopt sanctions against Israel.
So the U.S. goal and its self-defined national interest in defeating the resolution that sought to censure Israel and halt the Jewish state’s decades old impunity and human rights abuses of the Palestinians, are well-known. What are Nigeria’s strategic interests in this sudden shift away from the position of the AU, the Arab League and the Non-Aligned Movement?  
Some accounts said that calls to President Goodluck Jonathan by Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and U.S. secretary of state John Kerry turned the tables, in spite of assurances by Nigeria to the Palestinian UN delegation that Nigeria would cast its votes in favour of the resolution.
It was with Nigeria’s word, given in honour that now sounds hollow, that emboldened the Palestinians to announce that they were certain of getting the nine votes’ threshold; at the crucial moment, Nigeria failed to keep its word. It’s a disgraceful and dishonourable change that will further portray Nigeria as an unreliable regional player. At least two accounts said Netanyahu and Kerry’s calls to Jonathan amounted to arm-twisting. What is the quid pro quo for Nigeria?
What is Israel’s contribution to Nigeria’s fight against the insurgency, a factor that has been mentioned as a possible reason for Nigeria’s change of heart? In the few cases that Israel’s nationals’ involvement have unwittingly been made public, first in the smuggling of Nigerian money in dollars to South Africa, and the crash of helicopters in Adamawa, again with caches of arms and dollars involved, among others, cannot be defined as being in defence of Nigeria’s vital interests. The administration needs to explain its unilateral action that appeared to have been taken despite Nigeria’s stated foreign policy objectives.

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