Security Council must adopt measures to stop conflict in South Sudan

Norway is deeply concerned about the escalating ethnic violence in South Sudan. The warring parties have committed themselves to a ceasefire a number of times, but the promises have not been kept.

'Norway condemns all ethnic violence, ethnically targeted killings, hate speech and incitements to violence in South Sudan in the strongest possible terms. The ceasefire is now being violated on a daily basis, and it is the civilian population that is suffering,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

'The parties to the conflict must put down their weapons immediately, renounce violence and engage in a broad-based and inclusive political dialogue. The UN Security Council should agree as quickly as possible on an arms embargo, to stop the flow of weapons into South Sudan. It should also adopt targeted economic sanctions against individuals who are obstructing the peace process,' said Mr Brende, who recently visited the country.

The Secretary-General's Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, recently pointed out in the Security Council that what began as a political conflict has transformed into what could become an outright ethnic war. However, he also said that there was still time to stop the negative spiral.

'The authorities in South Sudan must show the will to stop this particularly brutal conflict, which has now raged for almost three years. I urge President Salva Kiir, the Government and the opposition, in the strongest possible terms, to bring an end to all ethnic violence and hate speech. The conflict in South Sudan cannot be resolved through even more violence, killings and war. All parties must refrain from violence and engage in an inclusive political dialogue. This is vital if an escalation of the conflict is to be prevented, because the dry season is approaching and it will be easier to carry out military operations,' said Mr Brende.

Norway calls for close cooperation between the international community and the countries in the region, to prevent a further deterioration of the situation in South Sudan. Norway will continue its efforts as part of the Troika, which also includes the US and the UK, and will continue to cooperate with the UN and the regional organisation Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) to promote an inclusive political process. Norway is strongly supporting the work of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission for South Sudan (JMEC), which will monitor the implementation of the peace agreement. Norway is also supporting the work of the African Union High Representative for South Sudan.