The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, was suddenly evacuated from South Sudan on Wednesday after looting and violence broke out during a demonstration.
Haley left a U.N. camp in the violence-wracked country after hundreds of protesters opposing President Salva Kiir approached, a spokesperson for the U.S. mission to the United Nations told Fox News on Wednesday.
They “became upset that [Haley] was not able to meet with them, due to time constraint,” the person said.
U.N. guards then fired tear gas into a crowd of demonstrators after she left. The protesters then looted and destroyed a charity office that was operating there.
“We are disappointed by what we are seeing. This is not what we thought we were investing [in],” Haley said in remarks that were released later by the U.N. about the ongoing violence in South Sudan that’s killed thousands of people.
Haley, the former governor of South Carolina added: “What we thought we were investing in was a free, fair society where people could be safe and South Sudan is the opposite of that.”
A spokesman for the U.S. mission to the U.N. added to ABC News that her security team deemed that the situation wasn’t safe and cut “the event short by a few minutes.” The demonstrators were pro-American and supported her, the person said.
“The situation just got a little out of hand and our security colleagues decided it was better to be safe and depart a little early,” the spokesman said.
She’s on a three-country trip in Africa. The spokesperson said she’s now in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The United States is the largest donor to South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011. More than $5 billion has been given in humanitarian and development initiatives, the U.S. Embassy said.
But in 2013, South Sudan was plunged into a civil war that displaced millions of people and left thousands dead.