World Bulletin / News Desk
UN human rights experts on Thursday said "ethnic cleansing" was underway in South Sudan after visiting the country where violence has soared since a peace deal collapsed in July.
"There is already a steady process of ethnic cleansing underway in several areas of South Sudan using starvation, gang rape and the burning of villages; everywhere we went across this country we heard villagers saying they are ready to shed blood to get their land back," said Yasmin Sooka of the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan.
"Many told us it's already reached a point of no return."
Sooka was part of a three-member team which travelled to battleground towns such as Bentiu, Malakal and Wau to gather facts about the situation in the world's youngest country.
Jarring testimony gathered by the team during their 10-day visit shows a nation on the brink of "catastrophe", said a statement issued by the commission.
"The stage is being set for a repeat of what happened in Rwanda and the international community is under an obligation to prevent it," said Sooka.
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