Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva at UNSC briefing on Sudan

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June 18, 2024

Mr. President,

We thank ASG Pobee and OCHA Operations Director Wosornu for their assessments of the current situation in Sudan in terms of implementing the UNSC resolution on withdrawal of the UN Transition Assistance Mission (UNITAMS). We followed closely the remarks by civil society briefer. We also welcome the Permanent Representative of Sudan to this meeting.

The situation in Sudan remains complex. Neither side has a strategic advantage. Intensive fighting between the regular army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) since April 2023 has resulted in numerous casualties, including among the civilian population. We condemn the deadly attacks by the RSF on the town of Wad al-Noura in Gezira State. We call for the lifting of the siege on Al-Fasher. The situation is further complicated by outbreaks of inter-communal violence.

We commend the work of the United Nations country team led by C. Nkweta-Salami. The humanitarian situation in Sudan also remains very difficult. According to UN estimates, almost 18 million Sudanese citizens are faced with an acute shortage of food. Some 10.7 million have been forced to leave their homes, of whom more than 9 million are internally displaced persons, and more than 1.5 million have found refuge in the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

On April 15, an international conference on humanitarian assistance to Sudan was held in Paris, which claimed to have collected more than €2 billion. At the same time, it is rather puzzling that the organizers did not invite the Sudanese official authorities to the event. The dire humanitarian situation must not be used as a pretext for interfering in Sudan’s sovereign affairs. However, we saw such an attempt last week, when the Security Council was discussing a draft resolution, one of the key elements of which was the issue of opening cross-border access through Adré. We believe that cross-border deliveries without the consent of the country’s authorities are impossible and may lead to significant reputational risks for the UN system. All routes for the delivery of humanitarian aid in cooperation with Port Sudan should be fully utilized to provide assistance to the population in all areas of the country that are faced with such a need. It is encouraging that OCHA representative was speaking about the same approach today.

Apparently, the armed conflict may continue for a long time. Various political and diplomatic efforts to reach a settlement, including inter-Sudanese contacts under the auspices of the United States and Saudi Arabia in Jeddah, have not yet yielded tangible results.

We support the efforts of the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Sudan, Mr. Ramtane Lamamra, to achieve peace and stability as soon as possible. We received the Personal Envoy in Moscow on February 20, and we hope that he will be able to restore the reputation of the United Nations in the eyes of the Sudanese after the unsuccessful (to say the least) activities of the former leadership of UNITAMS. The undeniable advantage of R. Lamamra’s mediation activity as compared to the similar efforts by emissaries to Sudan from individual countries is that the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General does not hesitate to contact all parties to the conflict in Sudan and maintains their trust. Discreet diplomacy should also remain his strong side. We believe that it is the Security Council’s collective responsibility to preserve and support that role of Mr. Lamamra.

Russia regards the Supreme (Sovereignty) Council of the Republic of Sudan as the highest legitimate authority in that country. We support the preservation of the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Sudan and the sustainable and comprehensive resolution of the crisis by the Sudanese themselves within the framework of national dialogue without external interference.

The prolongation of the crisis triggers an increase in centrifugal tendencies and threatens the Sudanese state. The negative consequences will inevitably befall the Sudanese themselves, and also will be felt in neighboring countries. All responsible members of the international community should commit to avoiding such a scenario. Once again, we emphasize that preserving the state institutions of Sudan is a priority.

Peaceful settlement is something that meets the interests of all Sudanese. Once the acute phase of the conflict is over, it is necessary to take practical steps to resume inter-Sudanese dialogue. In order to make it inclusive, we believe it important to involve all influential political forces and ethno-confessional groups, including authoritative regional leaders. We believe that progress at this track will help to achieve broad national consensus.

We believe that any destructive external interference in the affairs of our friendly Sudan is unacceptable. We are convinced that the Sudanese people can and must resolve their internal problems by themselves. Imposing dubious socio-economic schemes and universal “democratization” templates from the outside has already proven flawed and counterproductive. With such a complex as the one in Sudan, a cautious approach (which is not the same as idleness) is needed. It should take into account the opinions of all stakeholders rather than focus on flirtation with a part of the so-called civil society.

As practice shows, UNSC sanctions have not done much to normalize the situation in the Darfur region. Weapons have continued to be smuggled there. We are convinced that any new restrictions imposed by the Security Council, including the possible extension of the sanctions regime beyond Darfur, will not help bring peace any closer. Nor do we support the illegal unilateral restrictive measures that Western countries impose in order to artificially reshape Sudan’s political landscape.

Thank you.


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