Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva at UNSC briefing on the situation in Abyei


We thank Assistant Secretary-General M.Pobee and Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa H.Tetteh for their meaningful briefings. We also welcome Permanent Representatives of Sudan and South Sudan to this meeting.

We are glad to note that according to the latest report of the Secretary-General, the situation in Abyei has remained generally stable in the recent months and relations of Sudan and South Sudan have continued to improve. We welcome the session of the Joint Peace and Security Mechanism which convened in May and reiterated that Khartoum and Juba had come to an agreement on a number of aspects, including the issue of border crossings. The sides also claim ready to recover the Joint Verification Committee which has not convened since 2017. This proclaimed intention is also very commendable. We also take notice of the meeting of the sides in Khartoum at the beginning of this week. Hopefully, this dialogue will lead up to agreements as to the final status of Abyei.

At the same time, we are concerned over the state of affairs in inter-communal dialogue. Recurring outbreaks of violence among Twic Dinka and Ngok Dinka that breach the agreement on cessation of hostilities that the sides signed in April are very worrisome.

We still proceed from the assumption that joint efforts of the sides are crucial for promoting inter-Sudanese settlement and defining the final status of Abyei. The status of this disputable region must only be defined within the international legal framework and on the basis of relevant agreements of the two states.

We consider the UN Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA) to be an important factor of stability in the region. The main goal of the UN presence is to provide assistance to Sudan and South Sudan as they work to elaborate a mutually acceptable solution on Abyei and border issues. UNISFA mandate needs to be fully implemented, which is why we believe it should be renewed. We welcome the conference of traditional leaders of Ngok Dinka and Misseriya that UNISFA hosted in Entebbe. We hope that efforts for strengthening the relations of local communes will continue, i.a. thanks to the next cattle migration conference to be held soon.

We note that transformation of UNISFA into a multinational mission has entered its final stage. We call on UNISFA leadership to keep engaging with Khartoum and Juba to resolve the outstanding problems related to the activities of the Blue Helmets, and delivering on the benchmark indicators of the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism.  Positions of both Sudan and South Sudan, as well as their concerns need to be duly accounted for.

Thank you.