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UN experts warn of genocide in South Sudan

UN human rights experts have warned of an impending genocide in South Sudan, after a commission found that ethnic cleansing is already underway in the country as violence continues.
 “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 the Chairperson of the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, Yasmin Sooka. The commission carried out a 10-day visit to the country and will report to the Human Rights Council in March.
“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,” added Ms Sooka. “Many told us it’s already reached a point of no return.”
She has previously commissioned reports on Sri Lanka as part of the International Truth and Justice Project and was one of three experts appointed by the UN to examine the final stages of the armed conflict on the island.
“As the UN Special Representative for the Prevention of Genocide said, many of the warning signals of impending genocide are already there – an existing conflict, resort to polarized ethnic identities, dehumanization, a culture of denial, displacement based on ethnicity and in some places indications of systematic violations and planning – but the important thing is there is still time to prevent it,” she continued.
Commissioner, Ken Scott stressed that it was “also urgent to set up the hybrid court promised for South Sudan”. “Large parts of the country literally have no functioning courts and even the traditional reconciliation methods are now breaking down with the result that it’s a free for all,” he added.
Meanwhile South Sudan President Salva Kiir brushed off the allegations, telling Reuters: "There's no such thing in South Sudan. There's no ethnic cleansing."