EU citizens evacuated from South Sudan | News | DW | 13.07.2016
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EU citizens evacuated from South Sudan

Germany and Italy have begun evacuations from South Sudan after fighting between rival Sudanese factions in Juba. Berlin and Rome said people of other nationalities were also being airlifted to Uganda and Djibouti.

A fragile ceasefire seemed to hold in South Sudan's capital Juba on Wednesday as Germany, Italy and the USA implemented emergency measures and aid workers said bodies remained lying on streets.

At least 270 people were killed, mostly last Friday, in clashes between President Salva Kiir's troops and former rebels loyal to Vice President Riek Machar.

The US military said that it had sent 40 additional soldiers to help secure American facilities and personnel in the war-torn city.

The German foreign ministry said that three Transall transport aircraft of Germany's Bundeswehr were airlifting "German, European and international citizens" to Uganda.

Those being withdrawn included 100 German citizens, mostly aid workers and diplomats, said the foreign office.

Italy said that one of one of its military planes had departed Juba carrying Italians and other EU citizens to Djibouti.

International airlines suspended regular services on Sunday. Charter flights have also brought aid workers to Nairobi, Kenya (pictured above).

Robberies and attacks

South Sudanese trying to flee to Uganda by road spoke of attacks, killings and robberies by armed men.

In Juba, others took shelter in churches, UN bases and aid agencies' compounds. The UN estimated that 36,000 South Sudanese civilians had fled their homes.

Some had resorted to looting, said Jeremiah Young, policy adviser for World Vision. "There is hardly any food in the market," he said.

UN humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan, Eugene Owusu, called on all sides to ensure "unhindered access" so that humanitarian workers could reach people, including those hardest hit by the fighting.

Fifteen German military observers would remain in South Sudan, said the German defense ministry. Seven were in Juba and eight were spread across the rest of the country.

Gunfire at Machar's birthplace

UN spokeswoman Shantal Persaud said there had be reports of small-arms fire at Leer, a small town in Unity State, which is Machar's birthplace.

South Sudan was supposed to have celebrated the fifth anniversary of its independence from Sudan on Sunday, but canceled the event.

Machar's side accused Kiir of not being willing to implement a recent power-sharing arrangement. Kiir's side spoke of a renewed coup attempt.

South Sudan ranks as one of the world's poorest nations although it is rich in oil reserves.

ipj/msh (AP, AFP, dpa, epd)

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