Ugandan Official says Foreign Embassies in South Sudan have evacuated Diplomats ‘Temporarily’ to Kampala

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Uganda’s Foreign Affairs ministry on Tuesday said several embassies and organizations have evacuated their staff and citizens from South Sudan to the country following fighting between two rival factions in the capital, Juba.

James Mugume, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Xinhua by telephone that a number of embassies and international organizations have temporarily evacuated some of their staff and citizens to the East African country over security reasons.

“Following the temporary opening of the Juba airport on Tuesday, a number of countries and organizations have flown their staff and citizens here for security reasons,” said Mugume.

He added a number of the evacuated persons landed safely at Entebbe International Airport, about 40 kilometers south of the capital, Kampala.

Mugume however didn’t specify which countries and organizations that have evacuated their staff to Uganda following the fighting between government troops of President Salva Kiir and forces loyal to Vice President Riek Machar.

The United States government on Monday announced the evacuation of part of its employees from its embassy in Juba, according to U.S. Department of State.

“In response to ongoing violence in South Sudan, the Department of State ordered today the departure of non-emergency personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Juba,” it said in the statement.

The violence in South Sudan has raised fears that the war-torn country could descend into war again.

President Kiir and former rebel leader Machar have fought a civil war which broke out in December 2013 and left tens of thousands dead.

A peace deal signed by the two men last August under UN pressure led to the formation of a national government in April with Machar returning to his old post.

XINHUA