More U.S. staff ordered to leave South Sudan
By The Washington Post
Published: Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, 6:57 p.m.
NAIROBI, Kenya — The State Department on Friday said it is evacuating additional American Embassy personnel from South Sudan and urged all U.S. citizens to leave the country as well, even as opposing factions began talks in neighboring Ethiopia aimed at stopping a budding civil war.
In a travel advisory posted on its website, the State Department said it had ordered a further reduction of U.S. Embassy personnel from South Sudan's capital, Juba, “because of the deteriorating security situation” in the world's newest country, which has been torn apart by fighting between rival military groups since mid-December.
The U.S. military evacuated about 20 Americans on Friday as part of the embassy drawdown in Juba, said Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman. The American personnel departed South Sudan on a KC-130 aircraft that arrived in Juba from Entebbe, Uganda. The embassy staff was taken back to Entebbe.
About 45 U.S. troops are still in Juba to protect the embassy; Obama sent them there last month.
The embassy will stop providing consular services for any remaining American citizens by Saturday, the State Department advisory said.
The United States will provide an evacuation flight “to the nearest safe haven country” on Friday, the notice said. It told U.S. citizens who want a seat on that flight to pack no more than one piece of luggage and to take $50 in cash to pay for a Ugandan visa, indicating that Uganda will be either the first stop or the final destination in the government-arranged journey.
“Evacuation assistance will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible U.S. citizens,” the advisory read. “U.S. citizens who are not able to take advantage of the evacuation flight should review their security situation and strongly consider taking advantage of any existing commercial flights.”
The drawdown suggests that U.S. diplomats are deeply concerned about the prospects for a cease-fire.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.