US vows to aid S Sudan despite evacuations

2014-01-04 07:59
Marine Task Force Crisis Response helping US citizens into a Marine Corps KC-130J Hercules airplane in Juba during an evacuation of personnel from the US Embassy. (Robert Fisher, AFP)

Marine Task Force Crisis Response helping US citizens into a Marine Corps KC-130J Hercules airplane in Juba during an evacuation of personnel from the US Embassy. (Robert Fisher, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - The United States vowed on Friday that it remained committed to ending the violence in South Sudan, despite evacuating most of its remaining staff from the embassy in Juba.

"Even as we draw down our personnel, we continue to be engaged in and strongly support regional and international efforts to bring the violence to an end," State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf said.

She said that "due to the deteriorating security situation and out of an abundance of caution, the Department of State ordered the departure of most remaining US government personnel from South Sudan".

The Pentagon sent two KC-130 aircraft earlier on Friday from Uganda to South Sudan to "evacuate approximately 20 personnel" from the US embassy in Juba, spokesperson Colonel Steven Warren told reporters.

"The two C-130s are now back in Entebbe standing by for any further requests from the State Department," Warren said.

But US ambassador Susan Page remained in Juba, trying to help end the fighting.

‘Dialogue critical’

Washington also announced on Friday an additional $50m in humanitarian aid, bringing the total US aid funding for refugees and those affected by the fighting to $330m so far.

Thousands of people are feared to have been killed in the fighting, since it erupted on 15 December pitting army units loyal to President Salva Kiir against a loose alliance of ethnic militia forces and mutinous army commanders nominally headed by his rival former vice president Riek Machar.

The two sides are due to open direct talks aimed at ending the violence in Ethiopia on Saturday.

US special envoy to South Sudan, Donald Booth, is also in the Ethiopian capital working to end the bloodshed.

He was urging the two sides "to reach an immediate cessation of hostilities, allow full and unfettered humanitarian access, and outline tangible steps toward resolving their differences peacefully that can be implemented immediately," a US official told AFP.

"Dialogue is critical to resolving the political crisis at the core of this conflict, and in reconciling the nation."

About 45 troops remain stationed in Juba to provide additional security for the US embassy.

Asked about possible US military support for a UN peacekeeping mission or further evacuations, Warren said: "We have contingency plans in place. We believe we are well postured in the region to provide any type of support that's requested."

Read more on:    riek machar  |  salva kiir  |  south sudan  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Autobraking: See just how good they are!

Just how good are automatic brakes on cars these days? Two VW models have been praised by top UK research centre Thatcham. Find out why...

 

Stay safe

Pro's and con's of accredited driver-training
Juvenile pillion riders? Play safe...
Need a family ride? SA's top Mommy Cars
Mom's driving-school dream come true
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to idealise and prepare for the future rather than face the present. Right now life is putting challenges in...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.