Canada Temporarily Withdraws Canadian Staff from South Sudan

December 27, 2013 - The Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular), today issued the following statement:

“The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of our diplomats abroad very seriously. Due to operational challenges, including the unpredictable security environment in Juba, Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada has authorized the temporary suspension of operations at our office in Juba.

“Canada’s Head of Office in Juba will temporarily work out of the Canadian high commission in Nairobi, Kenya, until appropriate measures are put in place to respond to the changing operational environment.”

Canadian citizens in South Sudan requiring emergency consular assistance should contact the High Commission of Canada in Nairobi (+254-20-366-3000 or +254-73-442-0366) or the 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at sos@international.gc.ca or +1-613-996-8885.

A backgrounder follows.

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Backgrounder - Canada Temporarily Withdraws Canadian Staff from South Sudan

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada has authorized the departure of all staff and dependants from South Sudan for security reasons.

Since December 18, 2013, the Government of Canada has continued to advise all Canadians to leave South Sudan while commercial and military means are still available.

Canadian officials continue to work hard to locate Canadian citizens across South Sudan. With the help of like-minded countries, we have been able to secure a number of places on special outgoing evacuation flights over the past several days; other Canadians have taken advantage of spaces available on commercial flights.

Approximately 100 Canadian citizens are registered with the Registration of Canadians Abroad website as being in South Sudan. To date, we are aware of 76 Canadian citizens evacuated from South Sudan on allied military and chartered flights to nearby safe locations. Fifty-two other Canadian citizens have departed South Sudan on commercial and private flights.

Several airlines have decided to reduce their service to Juba. Canadians who remain in South Sudan are urged to make plans to leave by commercial means as soon as they are able to do so.

If you choose to remain in the country despite this advisory, restrict your movements, ensure that your travel documents are up to date, and keep abreast of the latest developments. Register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service and carefully follow messages issued through this service. Be aware that the ability of Canadian officials to provide consular assistance in South Sudan is extremely limited. Canadian citizens in South Sudan requiring emergency consular assistance should contact the High Commission of Canada in Nairobi (+254-20-366-3000 or +254-73-442-0366) or the 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at sos@international.gc.ca or +1-613-996-8885.

Please continue to consult our travel advisory for South Sudan.