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US pulls non-essential embassy staff out of South Sudan

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - 01:34

Washington: The United States on Tuesday ordered all non-emergency embassy staff to leave South Sudan amid an eruption of fierce fighting, and urged all Americans to depart immediately.

"The Department of State ordered the departure of non-emergency US government personnel from South Sudan because of ongoing political and social unrest," it said in a statement.

The US mission in the capital Juba would also suspend normal operations for the time being.

As rival troops were locked in fresh battles today, the State Department said it "warns US citizens against all travel to the Republic of South Sudan and recommends that US citizens currently in South Sudan depart immediately."

Those who chose to stay "should review their personal security situation and seriously reconsider their plans to remain."

President Salva Kiir yesterday accused soldiers loyal to his arch-rival, former vice president Riek Machar, of staging a coup attempt in the oil-rich but deeply impoverished nation.

The fighting in the world`s youngest nation has set off alarm bells in the international community, with the United Nations urging the warring groups to refrain from ethnic violence.

First Published: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - 01:34
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