Stop South Sudan killings now

Reports of mass killings and horrific rampages by government forces in South Sudan are emerging from the troubled country with a regularity that should attract far more attention.

On Thursday, Britain’s International Development minister Priti Patel said the killings should be regarded as ethnic cleansing which amount to genocide.

A similar point was made by United Nations special adviser on the prevention of genocide, Adama Dieng.

Human Rights Watch has documented shocking attacks against civilians including one assault on April 10 in the western city of Wau in which 16 civilians were executed after being picked up by government troops on account of their ethnicity.

Amid all this, there has been a string of denials and evasions by South Sudanese officials and deafening silence from regional leaders.

This is absolutely unacceptable and has to change. It cannot stand that in this day and age, government troops should be committing ethnic cleansing with impunity.

Pressure should be applied on President Salva Kiir, who has done an exceptionally poor job in managing that country, including by regional leaders from Kenya and Uganda who have leverage with authorities in Juba.

If the killings do not stop, strong measures, including action by the United Nations Security Council and a possible referral to the International Criminal Court should be taken to end the vicious cycle of killings.

Editorial, Daily Nation