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Obama urges S. Sudan to ensure safety of US citizens

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December 21, 2013 (WASHINGTON) – US president Barack Obama has stressed that South Sudan’s leaders have a responsibility to support government efforts to secure American personnel and citizens in Juba and Bor, following an incident on Saturday in which four US military personnel were injured when their aircraft was “shot at” in the rebel-held Jonglei state capital, Bor.

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US president Barack Obama has said South Sudan’s leadership must take measures to protect US citizens and personnel in the country, following an incident in which a US aircraft was shot at in Bor (Photo: Bloomberg)

The aircraft had been attempting to evacuate US citizens in Bor, but the operation was aborted after the incident.

Obama, who is currently in Hawaii, was briefed on the current situation in South Sudan in a telephone call on Saturday with his national security adviser Susan Rice after top aides held a meeting in Washington.

During the call Obama was also briefed on the status of military personnel, and the safety of US citizens and personnel in Bor and the US embassy in Juba.

The president has warned South Sudan that the US and international community would cut support to the country if parties to the conflict took any steps to seize power through military force.

The comments stand in contrast to earlier statements, in which Obama pledged that the United States would remain Juba’s “steady partner”.

Obama has directed his national security team to ensure the safety of US military personnel, and to continue to work with the United Nations to evacuate US citizens from Bor.

“The president was pleased that our service members are in stable condition, and reaffirmed the importance of continuing to work with the United Nations to secure our citizens in Bor”, a statement from the White House said.

“President Obama expressed his deep appreciation for the work of our military and civilians who are operating in difficult circumstances in South Sudan and directed his team to continue to update him going forward”, the statement adds.

The US embassy has so far evacuated 450 American citizens and other foreign nationals from the capital, Juba, but was has so far been unable to begin evacuations from Bor, where the security situation continues to deteriorate after army defectors seized control of the town earlier this week.

Obama has also underscored the urgency of helping to support efforts to resolve the differences within South Sudan through dialogue.

“South Sudan’s leaders must know that continued violence will endanger the people of South Sudan and the hard-earned progress of independence. This conflict can only be resolved peacefully through negotiations”, the White House said.

In an earlier statement on Thursday, Obama warned the new nation risks returning to full-scale war, if the volatile situation was not controlled.

“Recent fighting threatens to plunge South Sudan back into the dark days of its past”, he said, alluding to the more than two-decades-long civil war with Sudan that that left two million people dead before the country gained independence in 2011.

The Obama administration has dispatched the US special envoy to the Sudans, Donald Booth, to Juba in order to hold discussions with officials there on ways to end the conflict.

The US has deployed 45 troops to the country in order to protect US personnel and interests

The UN estimates more than 500 people have since been killed and some 35,000 reportedly displaced since violence erupted in Juba on Sunday, in what is the worst ever conflict in the country’s post-secession era.

South Sudan president Salva Kiir has blamed his former deputy, Riek Machar, and other opponents within the ruling SPLM of instigating the incident, which initially involved rival factions of the presidential guards. Machar has denied the accusations.

Fighting has spread outside the capital, with the SPLA announcing on Wednesday that it had lost Bor after forces loyal to General Peter Gatdet Yak overran military bases the day before.

Heavy fighting broke out also in Unity state capital of Bentiu, although the situation remains amid conflicting accounts of who is in control.

The United Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said that tens of thousands of civilians have sought refuge at their bases in Juba, Bor and Bentiu.

(ST)

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  • 22 December 2013 06:01, by Tong dut

    FUCK OBAMA, WHY DO YOU BROUGT UGANDAN FORCES TO SOUTH SUDAN?
    THAT IS OUR OWN PROBLEM AND MUSEVENI IS NOW IN,
    ALL SOUTH SUDANSES FORCES SHOULD STARTING KILLING ALL UGANDAN IN SUDAN WE ARE TIRED.

    repondre message

    • 22 December 2013 06:23, by Darkangel

      Interview with Peter Gatwik about fight between Nuer and Dinka in
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1UOX6yogfU

      repondre message

      • 22 December 2013 06:50, by Tutbol

        Obama should cut his damn support to our country, who doesn’t know the US is the same evil that created these mess in our country. This intrigue is about the corporate US & corporate Europe tasting the water if S Sudan would be their client state & to control S Sudanese from from trading with countries like China with out the US or Europeans authorization>>>

        repondre message

        • 22 December 2013 06:58, by Tutbol

          their game would not be allowed to happen. We are a free thinking peoples, being control by anyone has never been our peoples’ DNAs. We can trade with anyone we so choose. The US or their evil France or the UK are the creators of S Sudanese peoples. Why do they trade with China & everybody else can’t trade with China? in fact the US is indebted to China than any country on earth>>>>

          repondre message

          • 22 December 2013 07:10, by Tutbol

            and no one says that the US is being colonised by China! But when African nations trade with China, the US & Europeans media propaganda machine say, Africans are being colonised by China. China is buying up their countries than even African countries. The Europeans & the US hypocrisies stink. Africans should just wake up & show the Europeans & the US their right places---money & kings worshipers.

            repondre message

    • 22 December 2013 07:08, by Jalaby

      Tong dut,
      Unfortunately, this is what dictator Museveni was dreaming for so long, to have the south under his influence like other countries in central Africa which under Museveni influences!
      It’s not just Ugandan troop but Americans are sending their troops in addition to Kenyans troops too!
      S Sudan is heading to no where but right to hell!

      repondre message

      • 22 December 2013 08:25, by Kenyang

        Jalabie,
        No, it’s exactly the opposite. Whole thing is down to that even adversaries like United States + Israel vs Sudan among others are united on South Sudan’s strategic important. Are you a ware Al Bashir is more than willing to enter into current internal strife if regime in Juba agrees so? It’s hell to harvest but something South Sudanese have to do themselves.

        repondre message

    • 22 December 2013 08:01, by hamil

      @Tong dut: We will start by killing u first stupid slave to tribalism. This country does need backward people like you. U are worthless son to your family and a good for nothing National of South Sudan. The biggest mistake GOD has made in creation are useless people like you who prefer violence instead of embracing civilization. We are in 21st Century for your information not the backward era.

      repondre message

    • 22 December 2013 19:13, by Nyesi Ta

      Now that Uganda has shown its support for Kiir, Ugandan nationals automatically becomes the target because of M7’s aggression. For its up to Ugandans to stop their 30 yrs. dictator not to meddle in our internal affairs. If M7 does not back off, very soon the conflict in South Sudan will take a regional shape and we will run Uganda down.

      repondre message

  • 22 December 2013 06:03, by Tong dut

    WHAT A GAME UGANDAN ARE DOING IN SOUTH SUDAN, WE ARE GOING TO KILL ALL UGANDANS IN SOUTH SUDAN FROM TODAY, WAIT TILL 13PM .

    repondre message

    • 22 December 2013 06:32, by cholabdi

      We should not blame president Obama, they problems is with our president that he has ordered Uganda president to bring in gunships to fight the civilians in Jonglei state, l blame Nuer for war in jonglei and other states, the only place to fight that war is in Werap state. kiir has to calculate or make reasoning before doing that mad decision. His kids are in Australia so he didn’t worried

      repondre message

  • 22 December 2013 06:39, by Jalaby

    I’ll repeat here what I said yesterday:

    repondre message

    • 22 December 2013 06:41, by Jalaby

      US administration should be responsible for the chaos, tribal and the civil war that S Sudan is going through now because they separated the south from north and created an artificial and fake state in the south that never a real country which can live and survive like other nations!! unfortunately they know this fact but we can’t isolat the separation of the south

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      • 22 December 2013 06:42, by Jalaby

        from the ongoing conflict in the middle east between Arab & Israel, they know the separation will only achieve the interest of Israel but never serves the Americans interest nor southern interest themselves but will add more fuel to the already flaring fire in the central Africa such as CAR, East Congo, North Uganda, etc!!

        repondre message

        • 22 December 2013 06:44, by Jalaby

          What I always predict you about what will happen next always turns to be true with 100% not even 99%! I hit the alarm of hazard and warned you guys that if Kiir fires his VP Machar then that could be a disastrous and catastrophe decision, I’ll just repeat to you what I have predicted you before that Kiir will fire Machar and it did happen!!

          repondre message

          • 22 December 2013 06:47, by Jalaby

            here what I predicted to you before and literally said:
            Could Machar be the next (to be fired)?
            I personally won’t be surprised if it happened but Machar is red line that Mr. Kiir shouldn’t dare to cross otherwise Mr. Kiir will put the whole country in jeopardy and will destroy its national security and put the nation at great chaos!

            repondre message

            • 22 December 2013 06:51, by Jalaby

              Here what I predicted 5 months ago, read the details:
              http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article47237
              How many times I predicted you that the war among southerners might erupt at anytime? how many times I mentioned you the roots cause of Addis Ababa agreement collapse are still there and history will repeat itself again very soon?!!
              How many times I told you about the real

              repondre message

              • 22 December 2013 06:55, by Jalaby

                reason behind why British Administration changed their mind of separating the south from north at the last moment after they did what ever they could and possible to separate it?
                The ugly fact that I am very sure you hate to death to hear that the south doesn’t have the basic required elements for forming a homogeneous nation and then a country that can survive

                repondre message

                • 22 December 2013 06:59, by Jalaby

                  it can’t really be a "real" country as long as:
                  (i)The south depends on its neighbors for feeding its people
                  (ii)The loyal is never to the soil of the south,never to the motherland of the south,the concept of nationalism is unavailable but the concept of tribalism is what really people believe in.

                  Just believe in my words without even thinking about them!

                  repondre message

  • 22 December 2013 07:18, by Kenyang

    Americans know well, a road to presidency for power-hungry people (him, Obama being one) and like Riek Machar is thru vote not bullet. His excellency, honorable Mr. president Dr. Riek Mackar Teny Dhargon will remain a dream.

    repondre message

  • 22 December 2013 07:48, by hamil

    When I read some comments here and still see people writing silly things like "FUCK so and so" I feel completely downbeat. When concerned people out there are trying to help us come out of this difficult situation and some worthless people go about abusing them what does it make of us? This country and it’s people are cursed to always be cruel and backward because people don’t love Peace.

    repondre message

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