Closely monitoring situation in South Sudan, will ensure safety of Indian nationals: MEA

New Delhi, Dec. 24,: Considering the tense situation in South Sudan, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin on Tuesday said the Indian embassy is closely monitoring situation in the African country and added that the government has assured all assistance in ensuring safety and security of Indian nationals.

“We are closely monitoring the political developments and the evolving security situation in South Sudan. The Indian Embassy in Juba is in close contact with the Indian community members in South Sudan for ensuring their safety and security,” said Akbaruddin.

“In view of the deteriorating security situation, the Mission has also issued an Advisory to the Indian nationals to leave South Sudan at the earliest. A significant number of Indian nationals have left South Sudan by availing the facility of commercial flights which are operating from Juba and also through the road links, including the link to the Ugandan border, which is open for public transport. Our Mission in Juba is providing all assistance in facilitating relocation of Indian nationals,” he added.

Akbaruddin also said the Ministry of External Affairs is in touch with the South Sudan Embassy in New Delhi and has assured all assistance in ensuring safety and security of Indian nationals and Indian Embassy in South Sudan.

“The Mission is closely liaising with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), particularly the Indian Battalion of UNMISS, in monitoring the evolving security situation and has availed their assistance in evacuating Indian nationals stranded in remote areas such as Bor (Jonglei State). It may be noted that two members of the Indian contingent in UNMISS tragically lost their lives and one member injured during an attack on UNMISS compound at Akobo in Jonglei State of South Sudan on December 19. The role played by the Indian Battalion of UNMISS under difficult circumstances in South Sudan has been widely appreciated,” he said.

Fighting that began on Sunday in the capital Juba has swiftly spread, fueled by ethnic loyalties. South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, a member of the Dinka ethnic group, has accused his former Vice President Riek Machar, a Nuer who was sacked in July, of attempting to seize power by force.

Deputy U.N. peacekeeping chief Edmond Mulet said that 35,000 civilians in six of the country’s 10 states have taken shelter with the U.N. (ANI)