Germany, Italy evacuating nationals, foreigners from South Sudan

AFP , Wednesday 13 Jul 2016

Germany and Italy said Wednesday they were evacuating their nationals and other foreigners from South Sudan, after intense fighting killed hundreds of people and forced tens of thousands to flee their homes.

"The government's crisis task force has decided to evacuate German, European and international citizens from South Sudan. The evacuation is ongoing and being carried out by air using German airforce planes," said German foreign ministry spokeswoman Sawsan Chebli.

Around 100 German citizens were still in South Sudan, and those with German organisations would be given priority in the evacuation, said Chebli.

Berlin would also help bring other foreigners to safety, the spokeswoman said, adding however that she could not give their nationalities for security reasons.

Separately, Rome said an Italian military plane carrying 30 Italians and an unspecified number of other EU citizens departed Wednesday morning for its base in Djibouti.

A ceasefire in South Sudan's capital appeared to be holding for a second straight day Wednesday, but many people remained cautious after four days of heavy fighting. Around 300 people were killed in just a few hours on Friday.

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