U.S. citizens that were unable to be transported from South Sudan of Bor yesterday have been received in South Sudan’s capital city of Juba today amidst intense violence.
Reuters reports that all personnel were moved Sunday after they were unable to board military air-transports yesterday as the rescue mission came under fire from unknown sources. The mission was undertaken again, reports the State Department, as fears escalated that a full-fledged ethnic civil war was imminent.
In a U.S. State Department statement it was said that the mission, “in coordination with the United Nations and in consultation with the South Sudanese government,” safely effected the movement of U.S. Citizens to the less volatile Juba on U.N. and U.S. helicopters. The report also stated that the operation was able to move citizens from ally nations to safety as well.
In a letter to U.S. House of Representatives and Senate leaders, President Barack Obama said that he may “take further action to support the security of U.S. citizens,” as he monitored the situation in South Sudan.
In total, some 380 United States Citizens were transported away from the fighting in the region. Approximately 300 citizens from partner nations were also moved to safety.
Noncritical staff from the United Nations were moved out of the South Sudan capital and across the border into Uganda on Sunday as well as the violence continued to spread within the country. U.N. civilians were transported Saturday from their compound in the explosive town of Bor to Juba.
Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman stated that, “The U.S. government is doing everything possible to ensure the safety and security,” of U.S. Citizens in South Sudan.
Also outlined in his letter received by U.S. Leaders, President Obama detailed how 46 additional military personnel were sent by aircraft on Saturday to transport those U.S. citizens that made themselves available at the U.N. camp in Bor. While attempting to relocate U.S. citizens away from the rising conflict to Juba, the mission was cancelled as the craft were attacked as they approached the intensifying violence near Bor. The President cited “security considerations.” The mission was rescheduled for today.
Representatives from the U.S. military force that was re-routed have stated that the attacks resulted in four of its members being injured. The names of the individuals and the severity of their wounds were not specified, though all were scheduled to be taken to the U.S. military hospital in Germany. One of the injured men required serious surgery after arriving for a short time in Nairobi, Kenya. He was immediately treated for gunshot wounds he received during weapons fire that was directed at the aircraft. All of the parties were able to contact and speak with their loved ones.
The United Nations reports that people have been killed by the hundreds in the latest round of conflicts in South Sudan.
As many as 40,000 Sudanese civilians have taken refuge in the U.N. bases in-country, said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at a Philipines news conference. He added that there were “many more thousands of people” that were fearful for their well being and that the U.N. priority is to guard the lives of innocent civilians.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs suggests that approximately 62,000 people have been pushed out of their homes so far. Five of the Southern Sudanese ten states have been impacted by the intense violence, but based on the most recent supports, U.S. citizens and many Citizens of partner nations have been transported and received safely at the South Sudan capital of Juba.
By Matt Darjany