Explanation of vote by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia after UNSC vote on a draft resolution on renewal of the mandate of UNISFA (Abyei)
Russia supported draft UNSC resolution put forward by the United States that envisages renewal of the mandate of the UN Interim Security Force in Abyei for another 6 months. Blue Helmets remain a crucial element of stability in the region. Their assistance to both Sudan and South Sudan remains highly demanded as the two countries seek a mutually acceptable solution to the border dispute.
As the same time, we are aware that many peacekeeping missions encounter problems when interacting with the local population. Unfortunately, Blue Helmets in Abyei are no exception. Lately, local communes have had some protests and occasionally even blocked UNISFA from implementing its mandate. Therefore, when working on the draft resolution we made a constructive proposal to highlight Quick Impact Projects that are implemented by the peacekeepers and that have proven efficient on the ground. We regret that our American colleagues did not heed this idea that could have created favorable conditions for further peacekeeping efforts in Abyei.
In general, it is our understanding that an agreement on final status of the disputed region can only be reached through joint efforts of the two states without any external pressure. In this regard, an impartial approach and equidistant position of Abyei’s UNSC penholders to all UNISFA’s problems appear especially important. We trust that our American colleagues will take this on board in their further activities.