President Barack Obama has announced on Friday (15 July) that an additional force will be readied to be sent to South Sudan to protect US citizens in the country and the US embassy in Juba amid reports of renewed violence. Earlier, the president told lawmakers on Wednesday (13 July) that he had sent 47 troops to South Sudan to counter incidents of rising violence.
In a notice sent by Obama to the US Congress on Friday, he said about 200 US troops will remain stationed in neighbouring Uganda to reach South Sudan whenever necessary. That force will include the 130 troops currently in Djibouti.
The president noted in his letter that currently it was not possible to know the "precise" requirement of deployment of American forces in South Sudan "to support the security of US citizens and property" in the country, The New York Times reported.
Renewed fighting between rival forces in the northeastern African country has evoked concerns for foreigners living in the country, many of whom were reported to be fleeing conflict-hit areas. With fears of the onset on another civil war in the country, many countries have ordered evacuation of their embassies and nationals. India has already begun airlifting its citizens from South Sudan under an operation dubbed "Sankat Mochan".
Many aid workers and doctors have also started fleeing the country as reports emerged that close to 300 people, including civilians have been killed so far in several clashes that are continuing despite a ceasefire.