Foreign Minister Eriksen Søreide visits South Sudan

‘I am in Juba to show my support for the new peace agreement and the vital humanitarian efforts in South Sudan. A great responsibility now lies with the parties to comply with the agreement and build peace. Norway is increasing its support for education, health and food security in South Sudan by NOK 145 million,’ Ms Eriksen Søreide said.

The peace agreement, which was signed in September, came about following mediation by the East African organisation Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad). Norway has had a strong engagement in the peace efforts in South Sudan for many years, particularly as a member of the Troika (Norway, the UK and the US). The Troika supports Igad’s peace work.

‘This regional engagement is constructive, and is necessary for the parties to succeed. The implementation of the peace agreement will require significant political will, and confidence-building measures are needed. It is important for us to support the peace agreement, while placing clear requirements on the parties to the conflict,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.   

Over the past five years, the brutal war in South Sudan has created a huge humanitarian disaster. South Sudan is a priority country in the Government’s efforts for countries and regions affected by conflict and fragility. Norway provided some NOK 335 million in humanitarian assistance to South Sudan last year, and about NOK 600 million in total aid.

‘The war has made South Sudan one of the greatest humanitarian crises in the world today. At the same time, South Sudan is a dangerous country for those providing assistance. The parties to the conflict must ensure safe and unhindered humanitarian access,’ Ms Eriksen Søreide said.     

During her stay, Ms Eriksen Søreide met South Sudan’s President, the First Vice President and the Foreign Minister. She also opened a conference on the participation of women in the peace process. In addition, she met Norwegian military and police personnel who are taking part in the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, Unmiss, and visited a school for internally displaced children.

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