Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at the UN Security Council Meeting on CAR
We would like to thank Special Representative P.Onanga-Anyanga, African Union Commissioner S.Chergui, European External Action Service Managing Director for Africa K.Vervaeke, Permanent Representative of Morocco O.Hilale and Representative of Côte d'Ivoire G.Hipeau for their briefings. Let me express our sincere gratitude to Mr. Parfait Onanga-Anyanga for his work as Head of MINUSCA. Parfait, you have proven to be the man who would not lose temper even in a critical situation. Your contribution to stabilization in CAR can hardly be overestimated. We hope that your expertise and experience will be in demand in the UN system. We wish you every success in your future endeavors.
We consider the regional and international negotiations between the government of CAR and the major armed formations held in Khartoum under the auspices of the African Union with the support of the UN to be the landmark event in the modern history of the country. Thereafter, on 6 February in the city of Bangui, a crucial document was signed – Comprehensive Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in CAR.
This forum was the result of harmonization of all peaceful initiatives on CAR that reiterated the commitment of international partners to take joint action for the sake of long-term normalization in this country. We would like to emphasize that the Agreement was reached i.a. thanks to the negotiations between the armed formations that had taken place in August 2018 in Khartoum under the auspices of Sudan and Russia and that resulted in the establishment of Central African Opposition Alliance for the purpose of reaching long-term sustainable peace in CAR.
Russia’s assistance in organizing talks in Khartoum goes in line with the efforts of African community that makes crucial contribution to resolving crisis situations on the African continent according to the principle “African solution for African problems”.
For our part, we assure you that we have taken careful note of the appeal that was embedded in Secretary-General’s report. Russia stands ready to facilitate the process of national reconciliation in CAR and act in coordination with the leadership of the country, African Union and the international partners of CAR who are involved in the search for ways to normalize the situation in this country without any hidden agenda or double standards.
We continue supporting CAR in reforming national security sector. i.a. in the area of increasing operational and staff capacity of the country’s military forces. Russian military experts have achieved significant results over a short period, having trained over a thousand Central African servicemen. We also intend to enhance our support on the humanitarian track, in particular, in providing medical services to the population.
We give credit to UN peacekeepers and pay tribute to those of them who gave their lives in the service of peace for Central Africa and the entire continent.
We consistently advocate the support of international community, in particular of the Security Council, for the agreements reached under the mediation of the African Union and other mechanisms on the African continent. We should provide political, moral and material support to such efforts.
It goes without saying, that the path towards nationwide reconciliation in CAR will not be easy. The people of CAR understand this. However, the first step, which is the most important one, has already been made. It will lay down the basis for future decisions that can bring the country to long-term peace. Our common goal is to support this initiative.
We believe that in the current situation the Central African “area” urgently needs constructive cooperation of all international actors. Unfortunately, there are problems related to this that are not our fault. There are attempts to besmirch Russia’s action despite positive feedback that we receive from the Central African authorities and the people of CAR.
To our regret, today we saw a clear example of this kind of double agenda in the statement of our US colleague. I cannot ignore the two allegations regarding Russia that were part of his speech. As for the Russian journalists who were killed in CAR, it was Mikhail Khodorkovsky (he has now found refuge in the West) who sent them there. This man did not ensure their safety. Instead, he provided them with a significant sum of money in cash. The Russian Embassy had not been informed about their arrival and could not contact the CAR authorities on that matter. As a result, the journalists were robbed and killed. This context is clear, it cannot be argued. However, we continue the joint investigation that we carry out together with the CAR authorities. We will share the results of this investigation with everyone who will be interested.
Here is another story. We were not going to address this, but since our American colleagues have touched upon this topic, we will have to pick up on it. I would like to ask our French colleagues for apologies in advance. You see for yourselves – it was not our initiative.
On 12 February, French media RFI disseminated information with reference to the distorted UN report, according to which Russian military trainers allegedly tortured a 38-year-old Muslim tradesman. This false news has already been refuted by the man himself – his name is Mahamat Nour Mamadou. He has confessed that it was a provocation in which he was forced to participate by Attaché of French Embassy in Bangui Jacques Razafindranaly, who specialized in internal security. This man was also a staff member of the General Directorate for External Security (DGSE) of the French Ministry of Defense. Let me cite what Mahamat said in an interview to “Afrique Média”: “I am a former Séléka fighter, I lost my thumb in battle. After I was released, the French offered me a lot of money. In return, they wanted me to say that Russians had tortured me. They told me if I did not do this, they would kill me. They came to me several times and checked if I was saying everything correctly. They promised to take me to France”. Mahamat’s neighbors confirmed his words. They recognized the aforementioned French Embassy representative among the men who had been visiting Mahamat. I believe there is no need for further comments.
Apparently, our American colleagues find themselves are having some sort of propaganda fever. Now they are preparing a blatant und undoubtable provocation at the Colombian-Venezuelan border, scheduled for February 23. I guess they have got carried away by it, because now they are trying to spread insinuations and fake news even here, in the Security Council. This situation clearly demonstrates the methods that our Western colleagues used in CAR. Same with Venezuela, same with Ukraine – they do not care about these countries, what their care about is only geopolitics.
The world flows and changes. What remains unchanged is the methods used by the US and their supporters to interfere in the affairs of other countries and to topple the unwanted regimes. They have no disdain for dirty political provocations. Russia will not put up with this.
I thank you for your attention.