U.S. Marines poised to enter South Sudan
By Marie-Louise Gumuchian. Barbara Starr and Antonia Mortensen
Mon December 23, 2013
About 150 U.S. Marines are poised to enter turbulent South Sudan to help evacuate Americans and provide security for the U.S. Embassy, two U.S. military officials said Monday.
The troops are moving from Spain to Africa, probably to the nation of Djibouti, the officials told CNN’s Barbara Starr on Monday.
An estimated 100 U.S. citizens are believed to be in the country, where steady violence is stoking fears of an all-out civil war in the world’s newest country.
Up to 40,000 civilians have taken refuge in U.N. bases in the country, the world body says. It estimates some 62,000 people have been displaced in total, with five of South Sudan’s 10 states affected by the violence.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told a news conference in the Philippines on Sunday the United Nations planned to send resources from other peacekeeping missions in the region to South Sudan, a landlocked country that split from Sudan in 2011.
The organization has moved noncritical staff out of the capital, Juba, across the border into Uganda.
The United Nations said it was trying to send more peacekeeping forces to the East African state, as foreign powers urged an immediate end to the fighting.
The violence, which began in Juba, has spread farther north in one week, killing hundreds of people and displacing tens of thousands.