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South Sudan stands at `precipice`, says Barack Obama

As the violence in South Sudan intensified, US President Barack Obama warned that the newly formed nation risked returning back to the dark days of civil war.



Zee Media Bureau

Juba: As the violence in South Sudan intensified, US President Barack Obama warned that the newly formed nation risked returning back to the dark days of civil war.

Obama said in letter to the US Congress that 45 US troops were deployed in South Sudan for the safety of American citizens and property there and they will remain there til he situation improves.

The violence in south Sudan is said to have erupted after a coup attempt on President Salva Kiir by the loyalists of former Vice President Reik Machar on Sunday.

After which the government had arrested ten politicians and started hunting for Machar.

At least 500 are said to have died in the clashes that started Sunday. Since then, the rebels have taken a key town of Bor, which is the capital of Jonglei state.

South Sudan, which is the newest formed country, has a dark history of over 22 years of civil war in which more than a million lives were lost.

Obama cautioned that the East African might plummet to the civil war era if it allowed “unchecked violence and unleashed hatred” to go on.

In a statement, Obama said, "In 2011, millions of South Sudanese voted to forge a new nation, founded on the promise of a more peaceful and prosperous future for all of South Sudan`s people...In recent years, against great odds, South Sudan has made great progress toward breaking the cycle of violence that characterized much of its history.”

"Today, that future is at risk. South Sudan stands at the precipice. Recent fighting threatens to plunge South Sudan back into the dark days of its past," the President said.

Earlier, the US State Department had directed American citizens in South Sudan to leave immediately. It also ordered the departure of non-emergency US government staff.

The British Foreign Office also urged its citizens to make contact if they wanted to be out of he country.

It sent an aircraft to South Sudan to lift UK citizens out of the strife-ravaged nation.

South Sudan, which has been mired in clashes since Sunday was formed in 2011 and the ethnic hue of the fighting has sparked fears of a civil war.

The clashes in the oil rich east African country are said to have been sparked after the rival military factions fought after a coup bid on the President Salva Kiir.

The fighting is disturbingly on ethnic lines as the military factions loyal to President Salva Kiir of Dinka tribe are pitted against those from Neur tribe, loyal to Machar.

Choul Laam, chief of staff for the secretary general of the ruling Sudanese Peoples Liberation Movement, said that the fighting was triggered by the ethnic tensions between two factions of the military belonging to differnet tribes - Dinka and Neur.

According to the official, the violence was sparked after the members of the Dinka tribe tried to disarm those from Neur tribe.

Also, two indian peacekeepers were killed when over 2000 rebels from the Neur tribe attacked a UN peacekeeping base in South Sudan`s Jonglei state.

More security forces were moved towards the area and the remaining Indian soldiers were rescued.
Foreign office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said that the resolution reflects international public opinion and also speaks of legality and illegality of the use of drones.

Speaking at weekly briefing in Islamabad, she reiterated Pakistan`s position on drone attacks saying these strikes violate the sovereignty of a country and cause collateral damage.
Foreign office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said that the resolution reflects international public opinion and also speaks of legality and illegality of the use of drones.

Speaking at weekly briefing in Islamabad, she reiterated Pakistan`s position on drone attacks saying these strikes violate the sovereignty of a country and cause collateral damage.

UN has condemned the attack ``in the strongest terms``.

"We can confirm that two UNMISS Indian Battalion troops were killed in action. UNMISS can also confirm that one injured Indian soldier has been transported to the Mission`s medical facility in Malakal," a UN press release said.

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