Barack Obama called for an immediate end to the fighting in South Sudan, warning the country stands at the "precipice" of civil war.
Obama, who earlier announced he had deployed 45 troops to the violence-wracked country on Wednesday to protect U.S personnel and interests, warned that "recent fighting threatens to plunge South Sudan back into the dark days of its past".
He said his statement "fighting to settle political scores or to destabilize the government must stop immediately. Inflammatory rhetoric and targeted violence must cease", adding "all sides must listen to the wise counsel of their neighbors, commit to dialogue and take immediate steps to urge calm and support reconciliation", noting that "South Sudan's leaders must recognize that compromise with one's political enemy is difficult; but recovering from unchecked violence and unleashed hatred will prove much harder".
On Tuesday, the United States ordered all non-emergency embassy staff to leave South Sudan and stressed that the onus to end the violence was on the country's leaders. The US mission in the capital Juba also has suspended normal operations for the time being.