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 Under-Secretary-General JeanPierre Lacroix, Assistant Secretary-General Ursula Mueller and Mr. Festus Mogae, Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, for their substantive briefings.
We believe that stabilizing the situation in South Sudan is possible only with a lasting ceasefire and an inclusive national reconciliation process. We therefore welcomed the successful conclusion on 21 December of the first round of the High-Level Revitalization Forum of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
We have taken note of the consistent efforts of regional representatives during the preparations and of Juba’s constructive cooperation with regional States throughout this key event. We welcome the Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians and Humanitarian Access reached at the Forum.
However, it is regrettable that almost from the start of the implementation of this Agreement, which is so important for the ordinary people of South Sudan, there have been mutual accusations of violations of it. We urge all South Sudanese stakeholders to comply strictly with the Agreement and to participate in the second round of talks, to be held in February. However, we can also allow for other negotiation tracks.
The important thing is to ensure that all efforts are closely coordinated with the IGAD initiative. We call on the States of the region to maintain a united approach to the settlement in South Sudan, which is very important to ensuring proper support for the peace process.
We are pleased at the pace of the deployment of the Regional Protection Force (RPF) in South Sudan and assume that it will continue to operate with respect for the country’s sovereignty and in accordance with the basic principles of peacekeeping. It is important that the front-line forces are already patrolling supply routes that are critical for the region around the capital.
We call on the Government of South Sudan and representatives of the troop-contributing countries to assist the RPF in achieving operational readiness and, together with the Secretariat, to continue studying mutually acceptable modalities for the Force, including its deployment in the area of Juba airport.
We have taken note of the balanced tone of the Secretary-General’s monthly reports and stand ready to consider the recommendations of the strategic review of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, which is being conducted by the Secretariat at the initiative of the Secretary-General.