By Orowo Victoria Ojieh
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ordered Russia to cease military actions in Ukraine immediately, saying it is “profoundly concerned” by Moscow’s use of force.
The International Court of Justice issued a significant ruling in Ukraine’s case against the Russian Federation under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
The ruling ordered Russia to immediately suspend the military operations Russia commenced last month, February 24.
The Court, which plays a vital role in the peaceful settlement of disputes under the UN Charter, stressed the need for States to act in conformity with their obligations under international law, including the laws of war.
The court ruling came in response to a suit filed by Ukraine on February 27, accusing Russia of manipulating the concept of genocide to justify its military aggression The Trumpet gathered.
The court order was supported by 13 votes while two voted against it. The judges that voted against it are Vice-President Kirill Gevorgian from Russia and Judge Xue Hanqin from China.
The court further directed Russia to ensure that anyone subject to its direction, including military or irregular armed units, to take no steps in furtherance of such military operations.
The Court also expressed deep concern about the extreme vulnerability of the civilian population of Ukraine, the number of dead civilians and injuries that have resulted from the Moscow actions. The significant material damage, including the destruction of buildings and infrastructure.
In a tweet shortly after the ruling, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that the majority decision “fully reinforces my repeated appeals for peace”.
Although the court’s rulings are binding, it has no direct means of enforcing them and in rare cases countries have ignored them in the past.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in a tweet, applauded the judge ruling as a major victory.
“Ukraine gained a complete victory in its case against Russia at the International Court of Justice,” he wrote on Twitter. “The ICJ ordered to immediately stop the invasion. The order is binding under international law. Russia must comply immediately. Ignoring the order will isolate Russia even further.”