300 Indians Stranded As South Sudan Edges Toward Civil War

The world's newest country is on the brink of civil war.

12/07/2016 7:47 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:27 AM IST
Handout . / Reuters
Displaced South Sudanese families are seen in a camp for internally displaced people in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) compound in Tomping, Juba, South Sudan, July 11, 2016. Beatrice Mategwa/United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

NEW DELHI -- At least 300 Indians are stranded in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, where clashes between the soldiers of President Salva Kiir and first Vice-President Riek Machar have left 200 people dead, and threaten to push the world's newest country towards civil war.

The United Nations has condemned the fighting in South Sudan, which broke out on Thursday, expressing "shock and outrage at the attacks on UN compounds," where hundreds of internally displaced people are taking refuge.

"This senseless violence is unacceptable and has the potential of reversing the progress made so far in the peace process," said U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Both Kiir and Machar have ordered a ceasefire.

Srikumar Menon, India's ambassador to South Sudan, told The Hindu that the airport in Juba is closed as off, and road blocks controlled by rival factions are curtailing movement in the capital, which has been subjected to gunfighting and shelling. Menon told the newspaper that around 2,500 peacekeepers were stationed in the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the U.N. peacekeeping force in Sudan, but the Indian soldiers were engaged in their bases.

On Monday, Swaraj tweeted that the Indian government is making plans to evacuate Indian nationals stranded in Juba, while advising them not to panic and register themselves with the Indian embassy.

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