Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva after UNSC vote on a draft resolution renewing the mandate of MINUSCA
The Russian delegation abstained in the vote on the UNSC draft resolution renewing for another year the mandate of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). Despite the efforts of the French sponsors that we believe are overall constructive, when adopting decisions at the UNSC we should not ignore the opinion of the host country. Unfortunately, a number of fundamental points highlighted by the CAR government and circulated as an official document of the UNSC yesterday, were not reflected in the resolution.
Nevertheless, we hope that the renewal of the MINUSCA mandate will support the efforts of the CAR authorities to stabilize the situation in the country. In this regard, we welcome the decision of President Faustin-Archange Touadéra to declare ceasefire and the government’s intention to promote the implementation of the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation and the Republican Dialogue. We note the steps to strengthen and expand the presence of official bodies in many regions of the country that are necessary, inter alia, for resolving humanitarian issues.
Russia unwaveringly supports the work of the Blue Helmets that take the key place in the overall security architecture of the CAR. However, we cannot fail to note that over the period of its existence the mission has frequently been the source of scandal. The Blue Helmets have been accused of sexual violence, including violence against children and of trafficking in natural resources. The most recent example is the uncovering of a large-scale criminal network that illegally transported diamonds and gold through one of European countries. We also have a lot of questions regarding the incident with the Egyptian troops on 1 November. Undoubtedly, we hope that the peacekeepers of the friendly country of Egypt will get well soon and we stand in solidarity with them. However, these tragic events were caused by mistakes that the MINUSCA leadership made while transporting people, among other things. We need to have a thorough investigation of the incident.
We note that the constant negative background surrounding MINUSCA is damaging the UNSC’s authority and undermines trust in the UN itself. Although the adoption of this resolution is a token of trust in the mission’s leadership, unfortunately, as of today, we cannot describe the mission’s work as satisfactory and competent. We will closely monitor how the mission’s leadership will use the support extended to it by the UNSC today. We believe that the first step, which is long overdue, is to take into account the concerns of the host country and to establish a mutually respectful dialogue with Bangui, without which it is impossible to fully implement the mandate of MINUSCA. This is the cornerstone for the mandate of any peacekeeping mission.
Today, we have once again heard accusations against Russian specialists working in the CAR. They are successfully improving the level of vocational training for the CAR law enforcement bodies and working in the country upon the invitation of the legitimate government of CAR. It is thanks to their efforts along with other bilateral partners, first and foremost, the CAR armed forces, that the situation in the country has stabilized to a large extent. However, time and time again we hear unfounded and baseless allegations regarding our specialists from a number of UNSC members which we have rejected many times. If there have been violations, then they should be investigated primarily by the national bodies of the CAR which we are in contact with and with which we carefully coordinate our actions.
Thank you for your attention.