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Families of embassy staff in Sierra Leone leaving, while Marines remain

Aug. 15, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
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A woman stands by the gate of the government hospital on a rainy Thursday in Kailahun. Kailahun, along with Kenama district, is at the epicenter of the world's worst Ebola outbreak. Family members of U.S. embassy personnel in Sierra Leone have been ordered to leave the country due to the Ebola crisis, but the Marine security guards and the rest of the embassy staff are staying put, a State Department official said Friday. (Carl De Souza / AFP)
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Family members of embassy personnel in Sierra Leone have been ordered to leave the country due to the Ebola crisis, but the Marine security guards and the rest of the embassy staff are staying put, a State Department official said Friday.

“No embassy personnel, including the Marines, are leaving and the embassy will continue operations as normal. We are asking the family members to leave out of an abundance of caution because of concerns about the current stress on local medical facilities. We took a similar action in Liberia last week,” the official said in an email to Military Times.

The order applies to eligible family members who do not work for the embassy, the official said. The “ordered departure” is different from an evacuation, in which the State Department would pull all Americans from an embassy, the official said.

U.S. Africa Command has not received any requests to help the family members leave Sierra Leone, an AFRICOM spokesman said.

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