Juba: The South Sudan situation has worsened with UN human rights experts confirming that an "ethnic cleansing" was under way in the war-torn nation.
The African nation has been hit by fresh violence ever since a peace deal between the government and the rebels collapsed in July.
"There is already a steady process of ethnic cleansing underway in several areas of South Sudan using starvation, gang rape and the burning of villages; everywhere we went across this country we heard villagers saying they are ready to shed blood to get their land back," a UN rights expert said.
"Many told us it's already reached a point of no return," the AP quoted Yasmin Sooka of the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, as saying.
Places such as Bentiu, Malakal and Wau in South Sudan were the hardest hit.
"The stage is being set for a repeat of what happened in Rwanda and the international community is under an obligation to prevent it," Sooka said.
Also, divisions between the country's tribes have led to a surge of violence.
Both the government and the rebel armies were accused of forcibly recruiting child soldiers for the ongoing war and Sooka has warned that "renewed recruitment” shows that they may be preparing for a prolonged conflict.