Norway’s foreign ministry was demanding that the African Union make public a report said to blame Norway, the US and Great Britain for the unrest that led to a civil war in South Sudan. The ministry said it otherwise couldn’t comment on the report, a draft of which was obtained by news bureau Reuters.
“It’s not natural for us to comment on the contents of the draft of a report that hasn’t been made public,” the ministry’s communications chief, Frode O Andersen, told Norwegian news bureau NTB. He nonetheless added that “the claims now being reported in the media involve events that occurred 10 years ago and are tied to a peace agreement that had broad African support.”
The report has been drafted by a commission appointed by the African Union to investigate violence and crimes committed during the civil war. Reuters reported that Norway, along with the US and Great Britain, are being held at least partly responsible in the commission’s report for the violence and crimes because the three countries contributed towards the establishment of armed blocs of power that were not controlled in the new nation that Norway helped set up and finance after years of trouble in Sudan.
The international hopes for South Sudan have since been dashed. An eventual power struggle between President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar unleashed a bloody civil war around 14 months ago. At least 10,000 people have been killed in the war, while 1.5 million have had to flee their homes. Several ceasefires have been entered into, and broken.
The head of the United Nations’ peacekeeping efforts in South Sudan, Norwegian politician Hilde Frafjord Johnson, quit last summer as the country whose independence had been hailed in 2011 descended into violent conflict and famine.