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article imageU.S. Embassy evacuates more staff from South Sudan

By Samuel Okocha     Jan 3, 2014 in World
The U.S. Embassy in the South Sudan's capital Juba has ordered the evacuation of more staff from the country, where three weeks of fighting between rebels and government troops has left more than 1,000 people dead.
In a statement on its website: "The Department of State ordered a further drawdown of U.S. Embassy personnel from Juba because of the deteriorating security situation in the Republic of South Sudan."
It also urged U.S. citizens in South Sudan to depart the country and added that on Jan. 3 the Department of State will arrange an evacuation flight to the ''nearest safe haven country.''
"We are not suspending our operations," Ambassador Susan Page told Reuters. "We are just minimizing our presence."
The U.S. Embassy will however cease to provide any consular services to U.S. citizens in the Republic of South Sudan from January 4 , according to the Embassy's statement.
South Sudan ceasefire talks open in Ethiopia
At least 1,000 people have died and more than 180,000 people have been displaced in fighting that erupted in mid-December when President Salva Kiir accused his deputy Riek Machar of attempting a coup in the oil-rich and world's newest nation. Machar has denied the coup allegation and accused the president of carrying out a violent purge of his opponents.
Talks to end the South Sudan conflict which has since assumed an ethnic coloration have opened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's foreign ministry says, according to the BBC.
The AFP reports that government and rebel negotiating teams are at a luxury hotel in neighbouring Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, with the rivals first meeting special envoys from regional nations.
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