By Kyle Balluck - 12/22/13 02:54 PM EST
The State Department said it safely evacuated American citizens from Bor, South Sudan, on Sunday morning in an operation coordinated with the United Nations.
“U.S. citizens and citizens from our partner nations were flown from Bor to Juba on U.N. and U.S. civilian helicopters,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement. “The United States and the United Nations, which has the lead for securing Bor airport in South Sudan, took steps to ensure fighting factions were aware these flights were a humanitarian mission.”
“So far, we have evacuated approximately 380 U.S. officials and private citizens and approximately 300 citizens of other countries to Nairobi and other locations outside South Sudan on four chartered flights and five military aircraft,” Psaki added. “Other U.S. citizens may have left through other means.”
“We strongly recommend U.S. citizens in South Sudan depart immediately, and we encourage those who remain to keep in touch with the Embassy and update their locations and status,” she said.
Last week, Secretary of State John Kerry said the international community was focused on the “deeply alarming violence” between warring factions following a failed coup attempt.
Four U.S. servicemen were injured late last week in an attempted evacuation mission in South Sudan during which three U.S. aircraft were attacked.