World powers can stop a “Rwanda-like” genocide in South Sudan if they immediately deploy a 4000-strong protection force across the country and set up a court to prosecute atrocities, the head of a UN human rights commission says.
Africa’s newest nation plunged into civil war in December 2013 after a long-running feud between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar, exploded into violence, often along ethnic lines.
“South Sudan stands on the brink of an all-out ethnic civil war, which could destabilise the entire region,” commission chief Yasmin Sooka told an emergency session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Fighting was expected to escalate again now that the dry season had started, she said. Gang rape was happening on an “epic” scale, she added, citing cases of women being raped at a UN site in the capital Juba within sight of UN peacekeepers.
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