Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva at UNSC briefing on the situation in Sudan
We thank the Secretary-General for his brief intervention. We listened carefully to the assessments by SRSG Perthes and ASG Msuya. We also thank Head of the African Union Mission to the United Nations, Ambassador Fatima Kyari Mohammed for the briefing. We welcome to this meeting the Permanent Representative of Sudan to the UN, Ambassador Al-Harith Idriss, as well as regional representatives.
Russia is deeply worried by hostilities in Sudan among regular army units and the rapid support forces that have continued since 15 April. We follow the developments very closely. The humanitarian situation is deteriorating, food and medicines are scarce in many parts of the country. Attacks on diplomatic personnel and representatives of international organizations who are accredited in Khartoum appear particularly alarming.
We agree that at this point the major task is to evacuate from the area of active combat. We underscore that it is not only UN staff and Western nationals who are exposed to risk in Khartoum, but also other foreigners and the Sudanese themselves. Their problems require the same level of attention. We welcome the efforts of all Sudanese forces who engage in organizing safe evacuation of those who were willing to leave the country, and we also commend the responsible approach of Sudan’s neighbors who provide assistance in this matter.
We must state that the current Sudanese crisis was largely caused by an external interference in Sudanese sovereign affairs, attempts at forced political engineering in the country and imposing democratic recipes on it. The political situation in Sudan was not a simple one from the start. Sudanese political forces were fragmentated, their interaction was subjected to colossal influence of historical, ethnical, economic, and other factors. This is also true as regards the relations between the regular army and the rapid support forces. Security sector reform in the country was among the most complicated issues that required elevated attention and a thorough negotiations process. At the same time, we saw that many external actors tried to enforce the transfer of authority to civil powers artificially, and imposed a number of decisions that were not supported among broader population. Some states widely promoted the political framework of 5 December 2022, but it failed to become an inclusive platform for various Sudanese forces. This format left behind some of Sudan’s political heavyweights. Such an approach could hardly help to promote a comprehensive settlement.
Provision of lifesaving international assistance to Sudan was made directly conditional on the transfer of power to a civil government. As a result, the fragile stability in the country fell prey to those attempts to impose a so-called democracy.
In this context, the activity of the UN Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan , which reported its achievements to the Security Council only a short time ago, appears rather disappointing. We repeatedly underscored that UNITAMS should not focus only on striking a final agreement while disregarding its other mandated tasks. As a result, the Sudanese crisis caught us all by surprise.
Reconciliation efforts in the region are underway. We note the mediator efforts of the African Union and IGAD, as well as neighboring states. We welcome the ceasefire agreements that were made over the weekend. They helped to ease the intensiveness of hostilities in the Sudanese capital city, though failed to stop them completely.
The regionals should be given all the space and time they need. It is pivotal that the Libyan scenario must not repeat. I remind that with Libya, African efforts were arrogantly kicked aside, and the forceful Western intervention that followed caused a true disaster and destabilized half the continent.
All intermediaries must act along the same lines in order to settle the situation regardless of their probable national interests. We fully support those colleagues who spoke today about zero tolerance to any sort of interference in Sudanese sovereign affairs that might add fuel to the conflict, and who also spoke out against turning the country into a platform for geopolitical competition, i.a. the one that is being hyped up by Western media at the moment. We are convinced that the people of Sudan can and should solve their domestic problems by themselves. They can figure out on their own who is and who is not their friend.
We call on the confronting sides to demonstrate political will and take immediate steps towards a cessation of hostilities. We proceed from the understanding that all disputes can be resolved at a negotiations table.
In conclusion, we would like to reiterate the unwavering commitment of the Russian Federation to providing support and assistance to our friendly Sudan in overcoming its current difficulties effectively and getting back on track of peace and sustainable development.