The U.S. State Department has issued an advisory warning U.S. citizens against travelling to the Republic of South Sudan because of ongoing fighting, intercommunal violence, and violent crime.
On July 10, 2016, the Department of State ordered the departure of non-emergency personnel from US. Embassy Juba.
This replaces the Travel Warning dated December 31, 2015.
After clashes between government and opposition forces in Juba on July 7 and 8, general fighting broke out in Juba on July 10.
Since the signing of a peace agreement in August 2015 and the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity in April 2016, instability has persisted nonetheless across the country.
This instability is exacerbated by intertribal and intercommunal violence, cattle raiding, economic uncertainty, and an increase in violent crime.
Aid workers have been the targets of shootings, ambushes, assaults, harassment and robberies, some resulting in death.
Fighting that began on July 10 marked a sudden and serious deterioration in the security situation in the capital.
The risk of violent crime is high throughout South Sudan, including in Juba.
Due to the risk of carjacking and banditry, travel outside of Juba should be undertaken with a minimum of two vehicles and appropriate recovery and medical equipment in case of mechanical failure or other emergency, the advisory said.
“All U.S. citizens should have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance, and should carry medical evacuation insurance.”
“Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of South Sudan, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM).”
In a statement released by
John Kirby, the Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs Washington, DC, United States strongly condemned the latest outbreak of fighting in Juba today between forces aligned with President Salva Kiir Mayardit and those aligned with First Vice President Riek Machar Teny, including reports we have that civilian sites may have been attacked.
“We again call on both leaders and their political allies and commanders to immediately restrain their forces from further fighting, return them to barracks, and prevent additional violence and bloodshed.”
The United States said it was determined to ensure appropriate measures are taken to hold accountable those responsible for continuing fighting and violations of international humanitarian law, including attacks on the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and targeting of civilians.
“We are in active communication with African Union and regional leaders at the most senior levels; all are working jointly to press the South Sudanese leaders and their commanders to end the fighting. We have asked for an emergency session of the UN Security Council to address the situation.”