The United Nations Mission in South Sudan has started relocating its staff from Juba to Entebbe in Uganda.
This is due to the escalating tensions and deadly clashes between military factions in South Sudan.
The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has demanded the end of all hostilities and targeted attacks against civilians.
A UNMISS statement released on Sunday morning states that, as a precautionary measure to reduce pressure on its limited resources, it will relocate non-critical staff from Juba to the Ugandan city of Entebbe.
The statement revealed that on Saturday, UNMISS relocated all remaining civilians and staff from its compound in the Jonglei state capital of Bor to Juba.
Meanwhile, the Mission is planning to reinforce its military presence in Bor and Pariang to continue fulfilling its mandate to help protect South Sudanese civilians.
“We are not abandoning South Sudan. We are here to stay, and will carry on in our collective resolve to work with and for the people of South Sudan,” said Special Representative for South Sudan and head of UNMISS, Hilde Johnson.
The decision to relocate some staff comes three days after an UNMISS base in Akobo, in restive Jonglei state, was overrun by an estimated 2,000 heavily armed assailants in a brazen attack that left some 20 Dinka ethnic civilians dead alongside two UN peacekeepers.
Ms Johnson added: “To anyone who wants to threaten us, attack us or put obstacles in our way, our message remains loud and clear: we will not be intimidated.”
It should be noted that UNMISS continues to provide assistance and shelter to over 20,000 civilians gathered inside its compounds in Juba.
It also engages together with international and regional partners, with key South Sudanese leaders in its ongoing efforts to help find a peaceful solution to the current crisis.
Once the security situation in the country has stabilized, the Mission anticipates the return of non-critical staff to Juba.
Ban Ki-moon has demanded that all political, military and militia leaders to hostilities and end the violence against civilians.
“I call on President Salva Kiir of South Sudan and opposition political leaders, including former Vice President Riek Machar, to come to the table to find a political way out of this crisis,” he said at a press conference in Manila.