India sends diplomats to South Sudan   2014-01-04 19:24:06            

NEW DELHI, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- India Saturday sent a team of senior diplomats to South Sudan to assess the situation there.

The Indian team is led by Sandeep Kumar, joint secretary (West Asia and North Africa) in the external affairs ministry.

Indian officials said they have no intention to close down the Indian mission in South Sudan and will assess if it needs to be further strengthened in light of Indian interests in South Sudan, said official sources.

Violence between the two factions in South Sudan has left more than 1,000 people dead and thousands have fled to neighboring countries.

The United States has evacuated its diplomatic personnel from South Sudan over concern of escalating violence.

After the visit to South Sudan, the Indian diplomats will travel to Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to meet with peace talks mediators of African Union, said the sources.

There were about 1,000 Indian nationals in South Sudan working in oil industry and other businesses at the time of eruption of violence in mid-December last year. Most of them have left by air and road to neighboring countries.

The Indian team will also discuss matters with United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

Three Indian peacekeepers were killed in violence in South Sudan, where some 2,000 Indian peacekeepers are serving.

Editor: Fu Peng
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