south sudan kiir (left) and macha
President Salva Kiir (left) and former vice-president Riek Machar have failed to reach a peace agreementReuters

Norway has announced the international community is considering applying sanctions to warring factions in South Sudan as the country's civil war continues to claim lives.

The announcement was made by Borge Brende, from Norway's Conservative Party, who is in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa to attend the 2015 African Union (AU) summit.

Brende's statement came days after Norway, the UK and the US expressed their concern over the lack of progress in achieving a peace deal.

South Sudan conflict in numbers

Four million people at risk of famine

$1.8bn (£1bn) needed to assist conflict victims and refugees

1.1 million – 1.5 million people displaced

116,989 refugees fled to Uganda since 16 December (UNHCR, 24 June, 2014). Of these:

101,780 women and children (87%)

76,043 children under the age of 18 (65%)

10,000 people killed since December 2013 – UN estimate (June 2014). The International Crisis Group estimates that at least 50,000 people have been killed.

In January, the UN urged the AU to make public a report on atrocities committed during the war. UN assistant secretary general Ivan Simonovic said the report would be a "very disturbing development".

The South Sudan conflict erupted in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir, from the Dinka ethnic group, accused then vice-president Riek Machar of plotting to overthrow the regime.

The accusations sparked violence in the country, where factions loyal to Kiir and Machar engaged in tit-for-tat violence that has claimed thousands of lives.

At least four million people are also at risk of a man-made famine, due to lack of funds and widespread fighting which has stopped volunteers reaching certain areas.

As the civil war entered its second year in December, human rights activists warned the conflict was far from over and the country has experienced a "colossal loss of life".

Machar and Kiir have met several times in a bid to achieve a ceasefire, which was consequently broken by one faction or the other.

China deployed a contingent of troops in South Sudan to help the army halt the conflict. However, fears have spread that the deployment is motivated by oil interests.