Human Rights defenders in South Sudan said Sunday that the bad blood between supporters of warring factions is likely to trigger genocide in the world’s youngest nation.
The activists through their umbrella organization the Coalition of Advocates for South Sudan (CASS) signed a joint petition seeking the international community particularly regional bloc IGAD and the African Union to intervene and avert the crisis.
“The actions of the actors in the South Sudanese conflict have produced an outcome that has raised the possibility of genocide as shown by the recent increase in ethnically-targeted attacks in the country,” reads the petition in part.
“Polarized communities are also increasingly using various social media platforms to spew hate speech. This rhetoric is inciting violence and animosity in a period when bridge-building is desperately needed. All indications point to the fact that the threat of genocide will only increase in the days ahead,” they added
The group is inviting individuals and organizations to stand in solidarity with ordinary South Sudanese people and sign a joint petition so to expose the looming danger to the rest of the world.
The activists urged the regional organizations to “take immediate action to avert a looming catastrophe in South Sudan”.
Last month, exiled opposition leader Riek Machar warned that Kiir’s government could carry out genocide against his Nuer tribe, as well as other South Sudanese tribes such as the Equatorians.
The government has targeted civilians by tribe since 2013, with attacks on the Nuer community, Machar said. “This time the people in Equatoria are bearing the brunt. I wouldn’t rule it [genocide]out,” he told The Wall Street Journal in an interview in Pretoria.