South Sudan

US alerts citizens as SPLA takes over Juba

epa03997291 South Sudanese soldiers on their vehicle patrol a street in Juba, South Sudan, 20 December 2013. Three Indian soldiers in the United Nations peacekeeping mission to South Sudan were killed in an attack on 19 December, the first UN casualties since the ethnic-based violence began on 15 December in the capital, Juba. Hundreds of people died during the violence this week, while several hundred others fled the area.  EPA/PHILLIP DHIL

South Sudanese soldiers on their vehicle patrol a street in Juba, South Sudan, 20 December 2013.

The U.S. Embassy in the capital Juba, South Sudan has asked its citizens to stay away from streets following heavy clashes between government and opposition soldiers.

“The situation in Juba remains fluid,” the embassy said in a statement.

The statement said Government leaders are attempting to restore calm.

“However, these actions are not yet successful. Large numbers of troops remain on the streets.”

“U.S. citizens in Juba must remain cautious. You should shelter in place in a safe location and avoid any non-essential movements.”

The Embassy said it continues to monitor the situation.

Earlier, the United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, condemned the ongoing fighting in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, between rival forces in the country.

“I am deeply alarmed by the ongoing fighting in Juba between soldiers of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the SPLA in Opposition,” said Ki Moon in a statement on Friday.

“This outbreak of hostilities in the capital, on the eve of the country’s fifth anniversary of independence, is yet another illustration of the parties’ lack of serious commitment to the peace process and represents a new betrayal of the people of South Sudan, who have suffered from unfathomable atrocities since December 2013,” he said.

He also said he was “gravely concerned” by the resurgence of violence in Wau and Bentiu, which he warned could lead to a dramatic deterioration of the security situation across the country.

President Salva Kiir, backed by his First Vice President, Riek Machar and the Second Vice President Wani Igga, have called for calm in Juba.

The three leaders said they did not know the cause of the gunfire, but stood firm assuring the citizens of their commitment to investigate the two shooting incidents.

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