“I am deeply concerned about the recent developments in Sudan and South Sudan. The bombing of civilians and humanitarian aid workers is unacceptable, and those responsible must be brought to justice,” said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.
There are around 20 000 refugees in the camp that has now been bombed. The refugees had fled from camps in the Sudanese State of Southern Kordofan. International aid organisations and UN staff are also at the camp, where they are giving the refugees food and other essential assistance.
“The parties must now come to the negotiating table and find a political solution to the conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. The Government in Khartoum must also grant the UN and international aid organisations immediate access to the conflict-affected areas, so that they can help people there,” said Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim.
The attack on the Yida refugee camp comes in the wake of the Sudanese military’s bombing last week of targets near the international border between Sudan and South Sudan.
The situation in the border area has been tense for several months. The Government in Khartoum is accusing South Sudan of supporting the rebels in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile by providing them with weapons and other supplies. The attacks therefore greatly increase the risk of direct armed confrontations between Sudan and South Sudan.
“Norway calls on the Sudanese Government to put an immediate end to the bombing, which can only be perceived as a provocation. We also call on the Government of South Sudan to show restraint in its response to the latest attack, in order to prevent a further escalation of the conflict. Both countries must now comply with the agreements they have entered into and respect each other’s sovereignty. The conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile is an internal conflict, and South Sudan must refrain from supporting the rebels in their fight against the Government in Khartoum,” Mr Støre said.