December 23, 2013
President Obama informed Congress Sunday that if necessary he “may take further action” to protect U.S. citizens, personnel and property, including the embassy, in South Sudan, where troops deployed to evacuate Americans came under fire on Saturday.
“This action has been directed consistent with my responsibility to protect U.S. citizens both at home and abroad, and in furtherance of U.S. national security and foreign policy interests,” he said in a formal letter to congressional leaders. Obama is currently on vacation in Hawaii.
The world’s youngest independent country has been in turmoil since what its government called a coup attempt on December 14 by forces loyal to a former vice-president, Riek Machar, who was dismissed along with the entire cabinet in July.
On Thursday the Machar faction claimed to have seized control of Bor, the capital of Jonglei state. Two U.N. peacekeepers and 11 local civilians were killed in an attack on a U.N. base in the state, and when the U.N. sent helicopters to evacuate peacekeepers one was forced to make an emergency landing after coming under small-arms fire.
This article was posted: Monday, December 23, 2013 at 6:31 am