The United States wants to reassure the people and the government of South Sudan that we are not planning, nor will plan, to target any government or military leaders; nor will we import special military equipment with the goal of destabilizing South Sudan. Any suggestion that the United States has done so or will do so is false, baseless, and not in the interest of peace in South Sudan. We want to make clear to the people and the government of South Sudan that the United States has no plan for offensive action in their country.
Our Embassy in Juba remains open so that we can continue to offer assistance to U.S. citizens. We also remain committed to helping the people of South Sudan by pressing both sides to bring about a peaceful resolution to this crisis and by maintaining our humanitarian assistance program.
In order to keep the Embassy open, on July 12 a small contingent of U.S. military personnel deployed to Juba to assist the Embassy in temporarily bolstering its security and assisting with the departure of non-emergency personnel. The additional U.S. troops in Juba and those dispatched to neighboring countries are there only to protect the Embassy and American citizens who are leaving South Sudan because of the conflict. Citizens of Juba can expect to see a rotation in military personnel during the week of July 18. This rotation of troops is to replace not reinforce the number of military personnel. All of the additional troops will return home when the need for additional security no longer exists.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of South Sudan and your families during this difficult time. We mourn with you the tragic loss of life that has taken place since this crisis began. We welcome the July 11 ceasefire in Juba put in place by the SPLA/M-In Government and the SPLM-In Opposition and urge both sides to remain committed to the ceasefire and to protecting and ensuring the welfare of civilians in Juba and elsewhere throughout the country.