Norway urges more int'l efforts in South Sudan

2016-08-01 22:39:23 GMT2016-08-02 06:39:23(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

OSLO, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Norway said Monday that more international efforts are needed in restoring peace in South Sudan as tension between rival troops in the African country grew again in the past month.

"The fighting in South Sudan is continuing. Norway supports proposals for a new regional protection force in the capital and a strengthening of the mandate of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)," Norway's Minister of Foreign Affairs Borge Brende was quoted as saying in a statement.

"The Security Council must adopt targeted sanctions and an arms embargo, as called for by the UN Secretary-General," he added.

After fighting broke out on July 8 in the South Sudanese capital of Juba between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and those loyal to First Vice-President Riek Machar, a large number of civilians lost their lives and some 35,000 people were forced to flee.

Three UN soldiers were killed when the areas in the UN camp where civilians had sought refuge were attacked. Tens of thousands of people have fled across the border into neighbouring countries, and the fighting is continuing in the southern part of the country.

Tension between the rival troops grew again after President Kiir sacked Machar as first vice president last week.

"Norway joins South Sudan's neighbouring countries and the African Union in condemning the recent violence in the strongest possible terms," Brende said. "It is now more important than ever that the peace agreement is respected and implemented."

The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) and international envoys on Sunday urged South Sudan president to stop chasing opposition leader and put the peace deal back to normal course.

At the conclusion of its 3rd meeting in Khartoum Sunday, the JMEC, tasked with overseeing implementation of South Sudan peace deal, and envoys of China, Norway, the United States and the European Union urged the warring parties in South Sudan to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the recent acts of violence and to hold accountable whoever proves to be involved in the violation of the ceasefire agreement.