Special US force sent to S. Sudan to evacuate embassy staff
Approximately 40 US special forces troops were sent Wednesday to the capital of South Sudan to help evacuate non-essential US embassy staff as fighting continued to rage in the country, State Department spokesman John Kirby said. The detachment from the Crisis Response Force of the US Africa Command was flown by helicopter to the area of the embassy in Juba. Part of the detachment will remain to protect the compound. The State Department ordered the departure of non-essential personnel at the beginning of the week as battles intensified between armed groups loyal to the president and other groups loyal to the vice president. At least 300 people have been killed and tens of thousands have been forced to leave their homes as a result of the recent fighting. Reports from Juba said the battles continued on Wednesday despite a ceasefire declared by the two sides.