South Sudan is 'on the precipice' of civil war, President Obama warns
The US President has deployed a small military contingent to the country 'to protect American citizens and their property'
President Barack Obama has warned South Sudan “is on the precipice" of civil war and has deployed a small military contingent to the country amid violent clashes in the capital of Juba.
Forty-five military personnel were sent to the area on Wednesday to protect United States citizens and property, he said. In a letter to Congress, Mr Obama explained they will remain there until the security situation improves.
“In recent years, against great odds, South Sudan has made great progress toward breaking the cycle of violence that characterized much of its history”, he wrote.
“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.
“South Sudan has a choice. Its leaders can end the violence and work to resolve tensions peacefully and democratically. Fighting to settle political scores or to destabilize the government must stop immediately. Inflammatory rhetoric and targeted violence must cease. All sides must listen to the wise counsel of their neighbors, commit to dialogue and take immediate steps to urge calm and support reconciliation.”
United Nations diplomats say sources in the country estimate the death toll to be between 400-500 following an alleged attempted failed coup by soldiers loyal to President Salva Kiir's former deputy Riek Machar.
Two UN peacekeepers from India were killed on Thursday when their base, which was being used to shelter refugees, came under attack. A third was left seriously injured. Previous reports had suggested a third peacekeeper had also died.
An estimated 34,000 people have fled their homes and taken shelter with the UN in Juba and Bor. The Foreign Office announced yesterday it planned to evacuate 150 British nationals and some non-essential embassy staff.
It is also advising against all travel within 40km of South Sudan's northern border with Sudan.
However, it stressed that its embassy in Juba remained open, though it is revising its status on a "constant basis".
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
- 3 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Sir David Attenborough interview: The one question about life that still baffles him
Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Our exclusive client in St Albans Hertfords...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Key Stage 2 Teachers needed in Hertfordshir...
£55000 - £58000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A truly exciting opportunity has ari...
£25000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Credit Controller - Londo...