Press release | Date: 2015-03-03 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Norway is co-sponsor of the resolution unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council today to impose sanctions on individuals in South Sudan. ‘After nearly 15 months of hostilities, it is a tragedy for the people of South Sudan that the parties to the conflict are not willing to pursue peace. The fact that a unified Security Council now supports sanctions shows how critical the situation is,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
The resolution was first proposed by the US, which together with Norway and the UK comprises the troika for South Sudan. Norway and a number of other countries co-sponsored the resolution. The sanctions include travel bans on individuals and asset freezes on individuals and entities designated by the sanctions committee that will be established by the Security Council.
‘The parties to the conflict have had many opportunities to end the hostilities and to agree on a political solution to the conflict and a transitional government for the period up to the next election. I am extremely disappointed that the parties to the conflict have put their own interests before the interests of the population. South Sudan fought for independence for 30 years. However, once independence was attained, the leaders of the new state soon steered it into another conflict, resulting in a humanitarian crisis that is now affecting more than 6 million civilians,’ Mr Brende said.
Norway has been heavily involved in the situation in South Sudan for many years, and has actively supported the regional organisation IGAD, which is leading the peace negotiations. When Foreign Minister Brende met the parties to the conflict in Ethiopia in January, he warned them that sanctions were a possible consequence if they did not show a willingness to find a peaceful solution. Today, the Security Council decided to assess the situation at regular intervals in the time ahead, and has set out in the resolution that it may introduce an arms embargo on South Sudan at a later stage if this is found to be necessary.
Since the conflict broke out in December 2013, tens of thousands of civilians have been killed, one and a half million people have been internally displaced, and a half a million people have fled to the neighbouring countries. Children are being used as child soldiers, and schools have been occupied by troops. Famine has been prevented only through a massive humanitarian response by the international community, to which Norway has contributed. The economy is about to collapse, and the neighbouring countries are also suffering economically because of the conflict.