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 USG Lacroix and Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Ms. Hanna Tetteh for the substantive briefings. We welcome representatives of Sudan and South Sudan to this meeting.

As noted in Secretary-General’s report, recent months added no political progress to the Abyei settlement process. However, under the current circumstances, we cannot expect more due to a number of objective factors. Sudan today is in the midst of an acute armed conflict that has engulfed the capital and parts of Darfur, with severe humanitarian consequences for the entire region. South Sudan faces major challenges in fulfilling its commitments under the Revitalized Peace Agreement, completing the transition period and holding the first ever general elections in December 2024. Both countries are exposed to acute fiscal deficits, political blackmail and external interference, including illegitimate unilateral measures.

This being said, there have been no major negative changes to the situation in Abyei in recent months. Despite recurring incidents of intercommunal violence, the situation in Abyei has remained generally stable. We welcome the responsible approach of both states with regard to Abyei.

We commend the steps taken by South Sudan to receive Sudanese refugees and returning South Sudanese nationals. We also note Juba's efforts at inter-communal reconciliation in Abyei and the significant reduction in recent months in the number of clashes between the Misseriya and Ngok Dinka, as well as the Ngok Dinka and Twiq Dinka communities. At the same time, there are concerns about outbreaks of violence among the Nuer community.

We continue to assume that all parties need to share efforts in whatever issues pertaining to Abyei. Any unilateral attempts to change the status of the disputed area in violation of the existing international legal framework and agreements between the two states are unacceptable. In that regard, we attach importance to the fulfilment by both countries of their obligations to maintain the demilitarized status of Abyei.

Against this background, the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) remains a crucial factor of stability. We welcome the role played by the Blue Helmets in resolving the outstanding security problems, maintaining law and order and strengthening relations between local communes.

We are concerned over the problems in the operation of the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM), in particular its headquarters in Kadugli, as well as in the functioning of supply and rotation routes of UNISFA personnel. We urge the leadership of the Mission to work harder to resolve the situation with the authorities of the two states.

We believe that the continued presence of the Blue Helmets in the area remains highly relevant. In that connection, we support the proposed technical rollover of the peacekeepers’ mandate, including support for the JBVMM, for another year.

Thank you.

Video of the statement