Uhuru orders KDF troops to evacuate Kenyans in South Sudan

President Uhuru Kenyatta. He has ordered the Kenya Defence Forces to evacuate 1600 Kenyans who are stranded in South Sudan. FILE

President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered the Kenya Defence Forces to evacuate 1,600 Kenyans who are stranded in South Sudan amid fighting that has followed Sunday's coup bid.

The President also ordered the immediate delivery of food, water and medicine to assist tackle the emergency.

“The delivery of these emergency supplies started this morning. Kenyan military aircraft are delivering consignments to South Sudan,” a statement from State House said.

"The Kenyans are mainly in the town of Bor, in Jonglei State.  There are also Kenyans in the towns of Rumbek, Ayod, and Panyabol, who will also be airlifted to safety," it added.

There is relative calm in the capital, Juba.

This comes as South Sudan's army backed by helicopter gunships advanced Saturday towards Bor, currently held by rebels.

On Friday, the UN UN Mission in South Sudan confirmed that at least 20 civilians and two peacekeepers from India were killed after attack on UN base a day earlier.

A team from the regional development agency IGAD including Kenya's cabinet secretary for Foreign Affairs Amina Mohamed is already in Juba to seek a solution to the crisis.

Kenya hosted the long running peace talks that ended the 1983-2005 civil war in Sudan -- and which paved the way for South Sudan's independence.

Several nations have sent in emergency flights to evacuate citizens, while Uganda on Friday deployed troops to South Sudan, to boost security and help its people leave safely.

Additional reporting by AFP