On Tuesday, the UN Security Council expressed grave concern about the situation in the border area between Sudan and South Sudan and urged the parties to stop all use of violence. Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre commented, “Norway shares the Security Council’s concern about the escalating violence and deadlocked negotiations. The statement makes it very clear that the Security Council is united on this issue and is taking the situation seriously.”
This is the first time since South Sudan became independent on 9 July last year that the Security Council has issued a statement on the full range of acute challenges in South Sudan and Sudan. The statement expresses grave concern, and urges the parties to comply with the agreements that have been concluded. It places responsibility on the parties for progress in negotiations and for refraining from actions that undermine security in the other country.
“The statement is strongly worded but balanced and takes up the full range of problems and possible solutions. It represents a breakthrough in the way the Security Council has been dealing with the issue. The parties must do all they can to stop the use of violence and take responsibility for finding solutions through negotiations facilitated by the African Union,” said Mr Støre.
In recent months, there have been a number of serious incidents in the border areas between Sudan and South Sudan. Both government forces and informal armed groups supporting them have been involved. This violence is the main reason why negotiations have become deadlocked.
Norway’s Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim commented, “The fact that the Security Council is united on this issue sends a strong signal to the parties that they must find solutions. I am particularly concerned about the increasingly difficult humanitarian situation in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. The international community must be granted access so that emergency relief can be brought to the civilian population.”
The Security Council statement