Norway condemns South Sudan violence

 

Foreign Minister Borge Brende

Foreign Minister Borge Brende

 

“Norway condemns the killing and injuring of civilians in South Sudan in recent days. These attacks are clear violations of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement, which both parties to the conflict have signed. Leaders on both sides of South Sudan’s conflict are responsible for bringing an end to the violence and unrest immediately,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

On Tuesday, fighting broke out between pro-government forces and anti-government forces in the town of Bentiu, and a large number of civilians were killed and affected by the violence.

There have been attacks on civilians who have sought refuge in the UN base in the town of Bor, north of the capital, Juba, and at other locations where the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has bases.

On 17 April, at least 20 internally displaced people were killed and at least 60 injured when armed men attacked the UNMISS base in Bor, where around 5 000 civilians have sought refuge. The UN peacekeepers had to use arms to protect the internally displaced persons sheltering in the base, and two UNMISS peacekeepers were injured.

“Attacks on civilians and UN personnel are totally unacceptable, and those responsible must be held accountable. We urge representatives of the African Union’s Commission of Enquiry to travel to South Sudan as soon as possible to follow up and investigate the events of the last few days in Bentiu and Bor, and to investigate earlier attacks on civilians. It is vital to show the people of South Sudan that there will be no impunity for attacks of this kind,” Mr Brende said.

The UN has warned that South Sudan could be on the brink of a large-scale famine as a result of the armed conflict that broke out in December last year. Over one million people in South Sudan have been forced to flee their homes. As many as 300 000 of these are refugees in South Sudan’s neighbouring countries. Four million people are in need of food, and it is feared that this number will increase dramatically if extensive emergency aid is not forthcoming.  

“South Sudan is in desperate need of NOK 1.4 billion in emergency aid. Norway has so far provided NOK 100 million in humanitarian assistance,” said Mr Brende.

In response to a call from the UN, Norway will host a donor conference in May for the crisis-stricken country. So far, the UN has only received around 38 % of the humanitarian assistance funds that are needed.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

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