Middle East

Precarious calm in South Sudan's capital as foreigners flee

  • In this photo taken late Friday, July 8, 2016 and released by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), women from neighboring villages rest against a UN vehicle as they take cover from the fighting between buildings on the perimeter of the UN base and compound in the capital Juba, South Sudan. The president of South Sudan and his opposition rival both called Monday for a cease-fire in a conflict that has seen fierce clashes between their forces spread from the capital to a southeastern town. (Eric Kanalstein/UNMISS via AP)

    In this photo taken late Friday, July 8, 2016 and released by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), women from neighboring villages rest against a UN vehicle as they take cover from the fighting between buildings on the perimeter of the UN base and compound in the capital Juba, South Sudan. The president of South Sudan and his opposition rival both called Monday for a cease-fire in a conflict that has seen fierce clashes between their forces spread from the capital to a southeastern town. (Eric Kanalstein/UNMISS via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken late Friday, July 8, 2016 and released by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), a man, woman and infant take cover in the doorway of the UN offices as fighting starts with tracers flying by in the sky near the perimeter of the UN base and compound in the capital Juba, South Sudan. The president of South Sudan and his opposition rival both called Monday for a cease-fire in a conflict that has seen fierce clashes between their forces spread from the capital to a southeastern town. (Eric Kanalstein/UNMISS via AP)

    In this photo taken late Friday, July 8, 2016 and released by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), a man, woman and infant take cover in the doorway of the UN offices as fighting starts with tracers flying by in the sky near the perimeter of the UN base and compound in the capital Juba, South Sudan. The president of South Sudan and his opposition rival both called Monday for a cease-fire in a conflict that has seen fierce clashes between their forces spread from the capital to a southeastern town. (Eric Kanalstein/UNMISS via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken late Friday, July 8, 2016 and released by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), villagers looking for safety on the UN base during the fighting near perimeter of the UN base and compound in the capital Juba, South Sudan. The president of South Sudan and his opposition rival both called Monday for a cease-fire in a conflict that has seen fierce clashes between their forces spread from the capital to a southeastern town. (Eric Kanalstein/UNMISS via AP)

    In this photo taken late Friday, July 8, 2016 and released by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), villagers looking for safety on the UN base during the fighting near perimeter of the UN base and compound in the capital Juba, South Sudan. The president of South Sudan and his opposition rival both called Monday for a cease-fire in a conflict that has seen fierce clashes between their forces spread from the capital to a southeastern town. (Eric Kanalstein/UNMISS via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Embassies and aid workers are trying to evacuate staff from South Sudan's capital, Juba, as a precarious calm settles over the city following several days of deadly clashes.

Hundreds have been killed in the fighting that began Thursday night. President Salva Kiir and the former rebel leader, First Vice President Riek Machar, declared separate cease-fires Monday night.

The cease-fires appear to have held so far.

The fighting has severely threatened a peace deal signed last year between Kiir and Machar that brought them and their supporters into a unity government in April.

Witnesses have described government troops lining up tanks and firing on the United Nations base where tens of thousands of civilians are sheltering.

The U.S. Embassy and Doctors Without Borders are among the organizations pulling out their staffs.