Statement by Mr.Petr Illiichev, First Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, at the Security Council on the Sudan and South Sudan
We thank Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Keita for her substantive briefing. We regret the fact that we were unable to hear the views of Mr. Ismail Wais, Special Envoy for South Sudan of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), due to the fact that he is taking part in a meeting of IGAD Ministers in Abidjan. The sole way to stabilize the state of affairs in South Sudan is through the launch of a genuinely inclusive process of national reconciliation.
We do not think it is fair to continue to lay all the blame for the persistent violence on Juba alone. The Government has worked to meet the opposition halfway, and now it is up to the opposition to do the same and take a more constructive position. Unfortunately, all we are seeing from them is destructive action instead. There is no other way to describe the attempts to launch a counteroffensive on the eve of the December negotiations in Addis Ababa.
We affirm our position that it is counterproductive to impose targeted sanctions or an arms embargo. Such measures will worsen the crisis rather than easing it.
We are pleased with the speed with which the Regional Protection Force (RPF) is deploying in South Sudan. It should continue its operations while respecting the country’s sovereignty and the core principles of peacekeeping. We are pleased that mutually acceptable modalities for the operation are being worked out with the South Sudan authorities, including the RPF’s deployment in the area of the capital’s airport.
It is important that the advance unit is already patrolling critical supply routes in the region of the capital and that preparations for the arrival of the main part of the force are on schedule. We urge South Sudan and the troop-contributing countries to work together to ensure that the RPF is fully operationalized.
We hope to see the Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s high-level revitalization forum succeed. We note the mediation efforts of Kampala and Nairobi and should not omit to mention the attempt in Cairo in mid-November to consolidate the opposition parties. However, we should once again emphasize the importance of coordinating all the negotiation tracks.
It is also very important to ensure that the approaches of the regional Powers to the settlement in South Sudan remain united. Any destructive competition or attempt to advance narrow national agendas via the South Sudan efforts could adversely affect the peace process.
While noting the balanced nature of the SecretaryGeneral’s latest monthly report, we should also point out that much of the factual information in it has already been presented to the Council in one form or another.
We believe that the overall situation with the deployment of the Regional Protection Force should enable us to think seriously about reducing the frequency of the reports with a view to improving the general effectiveness of our work.