Americans Flee War-Torn South Sudan

But the UN doubles down as violence spreads
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2013 2:34 PM CST
Americans Flown Out of War-Torn South Sudan
In this photo released by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), a UN helicopter transporting wounded civilians from Bor to Juba, South Sudan, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013.   (AP Photo/UNMISS)

The State Department flew 15 Americans out of South Sudan today amid rising violence that killed hundreds of people and wounded four US troops there this week, CNN reports. The Americans showed up at the UN camp in Bor, South Sudan, and evacuated in coordination with the UN and the South Sudanese government, the State Department said. "The United States and the United Nations ... took steps to ensure fighting factions were aware these flights were a humanitarian mission," said a State Department spokeswoman.

With violence spreading in the world's youngest country, the UN has relocated staff from the capital city of Juba into Uganda and moved other staff from the war-torn city of Bor into Juba. The American presence took a turn in South Sudan yesterday when four US troops were injured during an attack on planes flying in to rescue American citizens. One of the four "went through some pretty serious surgery" after going to Nairobi, Kenya. Despite all this, the UN says it is "not abandoning South Sudan" and plans to increase its forces in key areas. "We are here to stay," said a UN envoy. (More South Sudan stories.)

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