About 40 American military troops have been rushed to the US Embassy in Juba, according to Samantha Reho, spokeswoman of the US Africa Command, who said the troops will boost security at the embassy and help US citizens to safely leave the country.
US embassies are typically guarded by detachments from the Marine Corps, one of the service branches of the United States military specialized in mobility and combined-arms warfare.
According to US-based media outlet Marine Corps Times, the troops have brought with them several vehicles “solely for use in protecting the embassy.”
The Times did not say which branch of the military the troops belong to. “We do not discuss the specific forces involved or the specific capabilities the Crisis Response Force has available,” said Reho.
However, she said that the force was operating under AFRICOM, the US military headquarters for the Africa region, which has a base in Djibouti.
This deployment comes after the US State Department on Sunday ordered some diplomatic personnel to leave its embassy in Juba and also began organizing flights to help US citizens leave Juba.
A similar deployment was made in December 2013 when US President Obama ordered about 45 combat soldiers to South Sudan to reinforce the existing contingent of US Marines at the embassy premises in the Tongping neighborhood of Juba.