UN warns of ‘all-out ethnic civil war’ in South Sudan, calls for action

A soldier of the SPLA. Photo: Getty Images/File
A soldier of the SPLA. Photo: Getty Images/File

Geneva/Juba, December 14, 2016 (SSNA) — The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has held a special session on South Sudan today addressing human rights situation and escalation of the raging civil war.

Investigators told the council that a looming “all-out ethnic civil war” in the shattered young country could destabilize the entire East African region, adding only a swift action could avert the genocide. The council was also told that South Sudan “is on the brink of a disaster.”

The council was brief with rather chilling warnings from representatives of UN High Commissioner for human rights and other human rights investigators.

“With the beginning of the dry season South Sudan teeters on the brink of a disaster. Weather conditions mean armed groups, militias and bandits can roam more swiftly across the landscape and there is a high potential for clashes between the government and fighters on multiple fronts,” Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, who represents UN rights body told the council.

The meeting was requested by United States and about 40 other countries last week, citing “the importance and the urgency of this situation” in South Sudan.

Early this month, a United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) said ethnic cleansing is already taking place in some parts of the country and warned that South Sudan could witness the 1994 Rwanda genocide.

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