South Sudan death toll probably higher than 272

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

The U.S. Embassy in Juba said it was organizing flights to evacuate non-essential staff and for all U.S. citizens wishing to leave South Sudan.

Noting a "sudden and serious deterioration in the security situation in the capital", the State Department ordered the departure of all non-emergency personnel from South Sudan on Sunday, although the embassy said it was "a reduction in staff, not an evacuation".

Obama says another 130 US forces are positioned in nearby Djibouti, ready to be sent in to South Sudan if needed.

South Sudan's government has said at least 272 were killed, including 33 civilians.

He said that some fighting has taken place outside of Juba, and the United Nations remains extremely anxious about the potential for the resumption of violence and spill over into others parts of the country, as it has in the past. Gatdet Dak said Kiir's helicopter gunships had pursued Machar's forces and attacked Machar's residence in his compound in Juba on Tuesday, although he said Machar had left Juba by that time.

Since Thursday, heavy fighting has been reported between the forces of the Sudan People's Liberation Army, loyal to President Salva Kiir, and the SPLA in Opposition, loyal to First Vice President, Riek Machar. "At present, the fighting is taking place in Juba", she added.

The war was fought broadly between South Sudan's biggest ethnic groups - the Dinka, led by Mr Kiir, and the Nuer, under Mr Machar.

South Sudan previously erupted into a civil war in December 2013.

African Union Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma called the situation "totally unacceptable". A fragile truce came with a peace deal signed last August.

South Sudan, the world's youngest country, which celebrated the fifth anniversary of its independence from neighboring Sudan over the weekend, has experienced much violence in its short history.

Egeland said his organisation had been forced to "halt" relief work due to insecurity, while some other aid agencies have begun evacuating their workers further hampering the humanitarian response.

United Nations humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan, Eugene Owusu, called on all sides to ensure "unhindered access" so that humanitarian workers could reach people, including those hardest hit by the fighting.

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