World Bulletin / News Desk
While focused on other crises, the international community is missing that the world’s youngest nation is on the brink of a catastrophe similar to the 1994 Rwanda genocide, said the head of a special UN investigation team Friday.
Yasmin Sooka from the United Nations Human Rights Commission raised the alarm on the nation of South Sudan, situated in the Horn of Africa, with a group of reporters in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.
From their just-concluded 10-day mission to South Sudan, the team found the nation "on the brink of catastrophe, with the stage being set for a repeat of what happened in Rwanda," she said.
The team called on East African countries such as Kenya and the international community to act to stop the bloodshed, gang rape, looting and ethnic cleansing that’s already ongoing.
"Hardly anyone remembers that South Sudan is also one of four countries worldwide to have generated more than 1 million refugees," outside the country, said Sooka, adding that a quarter of South Sudan’s population is already internally displaced.
Team member Kenneth Scott called on the international community to step in to stop an imminent genocide. "Ethnic cleansing and genocide, they are clearly related," he said.
"Ethnic cleansing can involve killing on a mass scale but the focus is on displacement of populations on ethnic grounds. On that basis, yes, we believe that that is what is happening in some parts of South Sudan … is ethnic cleansing and it involves the displacement of populations among ethnic lines."
Scott added that in some cases the South Sudanese government is moving ethnic Dinkas and only Dinkas out of certain areas while at the same time excluding other tribes from their traditional lands.
The team also warned that sexual- and gender-based violence has reached epic proportions in South Sudan and needs urgent attention.
The commission said that it will present its report on the situation in South Sudan to the Human Rights Council in March 2017.Last Mod: 02 Aralık 2016, 23:36