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State Department Issues Travel Warning for South Sudan

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- A few days after becoming a new nation, the Republic of South Sudan has been placed on the U.S. travel warning list.

The State Department issued a warning on Tuesday recommending that travellers avoid areas around the border of Sudan and South Sudan due to increased violence.  With military buildup on both sides of the border, clashes have occurred between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and forces loyal to the government of Sudan. Tensions remain between the two sides, the biggest contention being the presence of about 80 percent of oil reserves in South Sudan which are largely refined in the North.

"In addition to the fighting in the border region, there are at least seven different rebel militia forces that frequently engage in violent clashes with SPLA forces in various areas of South Sudan; these clashes can flare up with little warning," read the warning.

The U.S. and the international community officially recognized the new country that separated from Sudan and declared its independence on July 9. Despite having an embassy in the city of Juba, the U.S. said the new government is unable to provide security or prevent violent crime, therefore the U.S. has  placed restrictions on embassy personnel including riding in armored vehicles and a curfew from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

The department further warned travelers and humanitarian workers in South Sudan to exercise extreme caution when travelling in the area.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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