The United States of America has reissued a warning to its citizens on travelling to South Sudan, imposed a curfew on its staff working in Juba and has ordered them to travel in armored vehicles at night to ensure their safety.
The United States Department of State on Tuesday said that the US Embassy in Juba has imposed a curfew on its staff between 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. and has banned its government personnel, their spouses and family members from living in South Sudan.
“In addition to the curfew, the embassy has implemented other measures to protect US government personnel living and working in South Sudan. These include requiring personnel to travel in armored government vehicles at all times at night and to obtain advance permission for any travel outside of Juba,” said the US Department of State in a statement.
The US Department of State said that its citizens should avoid South Sudanese states including the Upper Nile, Unity and Western Bahr el Ghazal states and Sudanense states Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states and the Abyei Special Administrative District.
It said that although fighting between Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) has declined since spring 2012, the potential for troop build-ups along the border and renewed fighting remains.
The US Department of State said that in addition to sporadic clashes in the border region, there are armed militia forces that engage in violent clashes with SPLA forces in various areas of South Sudan, particularly in Jonglei State.
“The Government of South Sudan has limited capacity to deter crime or provide security to travelers throughout the country, including in the capital city of Juba,” said the US Department of State in the statement.
The travel warning against South Sudan comes barely a week after another one was issued warning its citizens to avoid travelling to Sudan.
At the end of the second week of October, the Department of State warned its citizens against travelling to Sudan, the Darfur region and the Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states.
It said that while the Government of Sudan has taken some steps to limit the activities of terrorist groups, elements of these groups remain in Sudan and have threatened to attack Western interests and that the terrorist threat level throughout Sudan and particularly in the Darfur region, remains critical.
In Sudan, all US government personnel are required to travel in armored government vehicles at all times and to obtain advance permission for travel outside of Khartoum.