In a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday, Egypt’s ambassador to South Sudan Ayman El-Gammal said that the Egyptian Embassy is following up on the escalated clashes in Juba, and regularly communicating with the Egyptian diaspora to ensure their safety till ceasefire.
El-Gammal added that the embassy warned the Egyptians not to leave their lodges until the clashes stopped. The embassy will ease up the measures for those who want to return to Egypt when the situation settles.
According to the ambassador, the embassy has received around 45 Egyptians so far, who are currently staying there. If they choose to, they will be flown back to Egypt once the main airport in Juba reopens.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zaid said earlier that the ministry is setting the safety of the Egyptian diaspora as a priority, and that it held a meeting to discuss methods to tackle the situation in Juba in a way that ensures that. He also warned from travelling to South Sudan until the end of the unrest.
Violence erupted last week in Juba between soldiers allied to the current president Salva Kiir Mayardit and the opposition who support the vice president Riek Machar. The clashes escalated rapidly, as explosions and sounds of heavy weapons were heard.
The clashes have widened to reach civilian residential areas. Workers did not go to work given the lack of security, causing the halt of several companies. As a result, food supplies are not abundant, hospitals are shut, and thousands are taking to churches for refuge.
The death toll that resulted from the clashes rose to about 300, including civilians and soldiers from both the government and the opposition. Regional and international powers are calling for appeasement to avoid a civil war.
Both Mayardit and Machar were reported to have ordered their allies to ceasefire on Monday evening.