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Norway suggest more international efforts needed in South Sudan

OSLO Norway (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.


Fresh clashes erupt in South Sudan’s northeastern Nasir town

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- Fresh fighting erupted on Sunday between troops of South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and those loyal to former deputy President Riek Machar in Nasir town, Upper Nile State, spokesperson for Kiir’s government troops, Lul Ruia Koang, told Xinhua on Monday.

The clashes followed renewed fighting between the rival army factions on Saturday in Lainya County of Central Equatoria State.

Koang said the clashes in Nasir started on Sunday morning and again on Monday. He accused Machar’s SPLM-IO troops of shelling their positions in Nasir.

Machar’s spokesperson, James Gatdet Dak, could not comment on the latest fighting, saying he was still waiting for official reports on the development in Nasir.

Machar fled Juba after some four days of heavy clashes between the rival factions which started on July 7, leaving the fate of a power-sharing government formed in April after more than two years of civil war in the balance.

Tension between the rival troops grew again after President Kiir sacked Machar as first vice president last week following the expiry of a 48-hour ultimatum given for Machar’s return to Juba.

Dak on Sunday accused the government troops of attacking their positions in Lainya on Saturday.

He also called for deployment of a third force in Juba, warning: "Or else we will be forced to act further and march to Juba in order to restore peace and security in the capital."

However Koang denied the accusations, saying the government troops acted to protect the civilians and didn’t violate a cease fire.

"We had a small engagement with some remnants of the SPLM-IO forces on Saturday.

"They are on the loose and they have been spreading insecurity. We are not violating the ceasefire. We are only protecting the civilians and their property because this is our mandate," Koang told Xinhua on Monday.

Koang also dismissed allegations by the SPLA-IO that they would be forced to attack Juba if no third force was deployed to provide buffer for the rival forces.

"The SPLM-IO forces are 90 miles northwest of Juba.

"What capacity do they have to march to Juba?

"Juba is not threatened," said Koang.

Augustino Kiri Gwolo, the commissioner of Lainya County, told Xinhua by phone that the weekend clashes displaced over 3,000 people.

He however said calm had returned to the area and people were returning home.

"There were clashes on Saturday on Wundurub-Lainya road.

"It was only one day.

"People have started returning home but to empty houses," said Gwolo.


South Sudan: President urged to stop chasing opposition leader



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