US, UK and Norway warn South Sudan to stop violating truce | News | DW | 02.01.2018
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US, UK and Norway warn South Sudan to stop violating truce

The three countries have issued the statement amid ongoing violations of the ceasefire from both sides. The civil war in South Sudan has now entered its fifth year, with the conflict leaving tens of thousands dead.

The United States, Britain, and Norway on Tuesday warned warring sides in the South Sudan conflict to stop violating a ceasefire that began on December 24.

"We call on all signatories, and the field commanders who answer to them, to immediately end all military operations," the three Western countries said in a statement.

Read more: Conflict in South Sudan with hyperinflation, food insecurity threatening famine for 2018

The statement comes after the armed opposition and South Sudan's government traded accusations of violations of the ceasefire.

Read more: South Sudan: Refugees flee to DRC amid latest fighting

The statement also called on all sides to allow unrestricted humanitarian access. Millions in the East African nation are in need of aid but the United Nations and other aid organizations have repeatedly expressed frustration at obstacles to its delivery.

Civil war enters its fifth year

Signed in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, the ceasefire is the latest attempt to end the civil war that has now entered its fifth year and resulted in the death of tens of thousands of people.

Read more: Little progress two years after South Sudan peace deal

It is also designed to allow humanitarian groups access to civilians caught in the fighting.

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Famine as a Weapon in South Sudan

The ceasefire aims to revive a 2015 peace deal that collapsed in 2016 after heavy fighting erupted in the capital Juba.

Read more: Sudan's al-Bashir asks Russia for protection from US

President Salva Kiir's decision to sack his deputy, Riek Machar, in 2013 triggered the war in the world's youngest country. Kiir accused Machar of plotting a coup, which Machar has denied.

The war has been fought largely along ethnic lines between forces loyal to Kiir, who is Dinka, and Machar, who is Nuer.

Read more: South Sudan: Starvation and violence

The United States, Britain, and Norway form a group that supported the 2005 accord leading to the independence of South Sudan from Sudan.

They have threatened to impose individual or group sanctions for those violating the ceasefire.

The ceasefire was to be followed by further talks focusing on a revised power-sharing arrangement leading up to a new date for polls.

law/rc (AP, Reuters)

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