GOL Reverses ‘No Ceasefire’ Vote on Gaza – Joins 153 Countries Calling for Restraints

MONROVIA: Through the appropriate diplomatic Channels at the UN General Assembly,  the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday, December 19, 2023 ensured the reversal of the negative vote  opposing the UN Resolution A/ES-10/L.27  calling for Ceasefire in Gaza for the Protection of Civilians and Upholding Legal and Humanitarian Obligations, and registered a new vote,  supporting the Ceasefire Resolution  thereby  joining the 153 countries who had earlier voted in favor of the resolution for a ceasefire in the Gaza war between the State of Israel and Hamas Militants.

The latest move by the Liberian government, according to a press statement issued by the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism(MICAT) is in adherence to mandate of Preside George M. Weah ordering the Ministry to rescind Liberia’s negative vote of December 12, 2023 at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that rejected Resolution A/ES-10/L.27 (Protection of Civilians and Upholding Legal and Humanitarian Obligations: Ceasefire in Gaza).

In his mandate to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs according to the release,  President Weah made it emphatically clear that he has always stood on the side of peace across the world and has spoken of its indispensability at several international meetings and assemblies, including the United Nations General assembly, as well as through diplomatic engagements.

The Government of Liberia further also clarified that the decision of Liberia’s diplomats to vote against the UNGA Resolution calling for a cessation of hostilities in Gaza between Israel  and Hamas did not get the acquiescence of the Liberian President who is the chief architect of the country’s foreign policy.

The Liberian government recalls that long before the vote, President Weah made a passionate appeal in a communication to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for the exercise of restraint in consideration of civilians who are the real victims of the ongoing crisis. The president at the time requested for a humanitarian lull in the armed hostilities to ensure the delivery of relief, while allowing for a diplomatic settlement.

That letter from President Weah to Prime Minister Netanyahu was dated November 10, 2023 and received by Madam Shlomit  Sufa, Ambassador  Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Israel  resident in Accra, Ghana and accredited to the Republic of Liberia, the MICAT release signed by the Minister of Information Ledgehood Rennie said .

“Accordingly, the Government of Liberia says while it supports the right of the State of Israel to defend and safeguard its territorial sovereignty and protects its citizens against Hamas and any other antagonistic force it has always been concerned about the humanitarian consequences of the war in Gaza.

“The Government of Liberia therefore reiterates its call to the warring parties to ceasefire and allow for the delivery of critically needed aid and services for the sake of humanity, to those affected by the war and to commit to ending the armed conflict, reiterating further its call for immediate and unconditional release of all the hostages being held by Hamas associated with the Gaza War”, the release said.

Recently, President Weah with immediate effect ordered Foreign Minister Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah to revoke Liberia’s vote against the humanitarian ceasefire in war-torn Gaza.

Making a brief statement here on Sunday, 17 December at his church’s regular service, President Weah said that being a man of peace, he will not promote, vote and support war and political instability in another country.

“That Liberian that voted for war is wicked and voted for himself not us, and God will not spear that person’s life. They voted wrongly and we will fix it; our vote will be with the other countries that voted for diplomacy and not war,” the president noted.

He expressed the belief that maybe the person who voted against the UNGA Resolution for Peace in Gaza was doing it to tarnish his character and government because we are leaving power. “But I want to tell him or her that they are wasting time,” President Weah reacted.

Liberia voted against a humanitarian ceasefire in war-torn Gaza on Wednesday, December 13, being the only African country that did so when calls are re-echoing across the globe for an end to the hostilities between Israel and Hamas.

Liberia was among 10 countries, including the United States of America, which took that position during a United Nations General Assembly’s emergency special session on Tuesday, December 12.

Despite the U.S. and Liberia’s effort to block ceasefire calls in the UN Security Council, a majority of 153 nations voted for the ceasefire resolution during the UN General Assembly’s emergency meeting session Tuesday, while 23 countries abstained from the process.

The decision of the majority members, who have repeatedly called for a ceasefire in Gaza, comes as a rebuke to the United States and some of her allies. Liberia voted on Tuesday’s resolution along with the U.S., Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Austria, the Czech Republic, Guatemala, Micronesia and Nauru.

While a General Assembly vote has a political importance and seen as exerting moral weight on belligerent parties, it is notwithstanding nonbinding, unlike a Security Council resolution.

The vote of the 153 Countries which Liberia now supports was welcomed as “historic” by Palestinian Ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, and it comes at a time when the war between Israel and Hamas enters its third month.

As the result of the military engagement between the two parties, medics and aid groups  sounded an alarm that the humanitarian situation besieged Gaza, according to reports which also indicated that more than 18,000 people have been killed in Gaza since fighting broke out as the Hamas-controlled health ministry in the territory.

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