Four U.S. service members have been wounded in South Sudan while trying to evacuate American citizens caught in a remote region of the country. The service members, one of whom is in critical condition, were injured last weekend in three U.S. military aircrafts that were hit by rebel gunfire. The aircrafts were on their way to Bor, the capital of the state of Jonglei.
The U.S. military’s Africa Command confirmed in a statement that “after receiving fire from the ground while approaching the site, the aircrafts diverted to an airfield outside the country and aborted the mission. The injured troops are being treated for their wounds. The aircraft carrying the wounded men landed in Kampala, Uganda and the service members were then flown on to Nairobi, Kenya for medical treatment. South Sudan’s military spokesman, Col. Philip Aguer, also confirmed that the attack on the U.S. aircraft was done by South Sudanese renegade soldiers,
The renegade soldiers are continuing to attack the civilian population and have even been fighting in the area of the U.N. compound. A death toll cannot be estimated yet, but it has been reported that “bodies are sprinkled all over the town.” Italy, Germany and Great Britain have also been working with the U.S. in helping innocent citizens evacuate the country.
The south and north sides of Sudan fought for decades before a 2005 peace deal allowed for a 2011 referendum that saw South Sudan break away from the north. However, the violence has largely continued and the recent attacks may have killed hundreds more, sparking concern that a civil war could soon take place in South Sudan.