India is putting in place an evacuation plan for its nationals from South Sudan, which is witnessing escalated violence due to clashes between anti and pro government forces, and has advised Indians not to travel to the war-torn country.
In a series of tweets, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday said, "South Sudan -- I am aware of the developments in South Sudan. We are planning evacuation of Indian nationals.
"Please register yourself with Indian Embassy and do not panic. Indian nationals are advised not to travel to South Sudan."
In its latest advisory, MEA said Indian nationals desirous of departing for South Sudan may kindly register themselves at the email ID firstname.lastname@example.org.
"It is important to have exact number of Indian nationals seeking facility of evacuation to make arrangements. Please be brief," the advisory on assistance for Indian nationals in South Sudan said.
In case of absence of Internet, please text to +211955589611, +211925502025, +211956942720, +211955318587, it added.
"The security situation in Juba, the capital city of South Sudan, has deteriorated since July 7, 2016. We have reports of gun fire and fighting on the streets of Juba making any movement virtually impossible.
"Ministry of External Affairs advises all Indian nationals against all travel to South Sudan till situation improves," the MEA advisory said.
On Sunday, Indian embassy in South Sudan had asked Indians stranded there to stay calm, assuring them that they are in constant touch with authorities in India and all options are being considered to provide relief to them amid heavy fighting between South Sudan's army and former rebels.
"The Indian embassy is in regular touch with concerned authorities in India and all options are being considered for providing relief to Indians stranded here in Juba. All are requested to keep calm and await further development and further inputs from the embassy," the advisory said.
According to official data, there are a few hundred Indians in South Sudan. Some of them have set up businesses in Juba and others are working for various companies. A small number of Indian nationals also work in Christian missionary organisations in that country.
South Sudan's capital is witnessing heavy fighting due to clashes between former rebels and government soldiers in several parts of the city.