About 500 people are dead and another 800 wounded after fighting in the South Sudan broke out this week.
The death toll could rise as more bodies are found, Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth told CNN.
According to the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, the violence stems from a coup attempt on Sunday when soldiers raided the army barracks’ weapon store in Juba and loyalists tried to stop them. Gunfire broke out.
In the wake of the fighting, about 20,000 people have taken refuge with the U.N. missn in the capital.
"We are extremely concerned," French Ambassador Gerard Araud said. "There is a heavy toll, that's obvious.”
The U.S. Embassy has advised any Americans in the area to “review their personal security situation and seriously reconsider their plans."
"Political differences need to be resolved by peaceful and democratic means. The government should respect the rule of law and the people of South Sudan should be able to realize their full potential," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said.
The South Sudan government has said that that 10 people have been arrested in connection with the coup, but five are still on the run, including politician Machar.
Ethnic tension started in South Sudan after the country broke away from Sudan in 2011.
Publication date: December 18, 2013