AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - "There is a risk of genocide! The international community must intervene immediately to stop": alarm from Juba

Monday, 11 July 2016 armed groups  

Juba (Agenzia Fides) - "There is a risk of genocide in South Sudan. Write it in large letters, so that someone from the international community intervenes before it is too late". This is the appeal launched through Agenzia Fides by a source from the Church in South Sudan, which we will not mention for security reasons. "When fighting with heavy weapons ceases, the massacres against members of rival ethnic group begins. We have seen it too many times in other cities of South Sudan during the civil war that was believed to have ended with the peace agreement in August 2015, but now fighting has started in Juba, the capital, and threatens to plunge the country into a real genocide", explains our source.
In Juba the military loyal to President Salva Kiir and former militants of the First Vice President Riek Machar fight each other. On the basis of the peace agreements, Machar became Vice President with the right to bring 1,500 bodyguards in Juba. On July 8, clashes broke out between the two factions, according to media reports, and have so far claimed the lives of about 300 people.
"Yesterday, Sunday, July 10, was a terrible day," reports our source. "Fighting broke out at 8.30 am and lasted until 8 pm, when heavy rain began to fall on the capital. Perhaps the Lord had mercy and the fighting ceased. This morning clashes broke out again, although there seems to be a truce at the moment. Government troops are using heavy weapons and helicopters to bomb rebel positions".
"A UN camp where thousands of people have taken refuge was hit. A Chinese blue helmet died, reached by a piece of shrapnel". "The disaster caused by politicians who do not care of their own people is appalling and unimaginable", says our source. "Now they are destroying even the capital, which was the only city that remained intact. There is not only fighting but also looting that accompany and follow the fights", says our source. "We fear a genocide on ethnic grounds", emphasizes our source that concludes: "I would not want a future in which journalists are forced to write articles on the 'South Sudan genocide'. We still have a chance to prevent it, but we need to hurry. The international community must intervene, even by force before it is too late". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 11/07/2016)