|UN Expert Says Action Needed to Prevent Genocide in Several African Countries|
A top U.N. official is warning that action must be taken to prevent conflicts
in several African countries from turning into genocide. Juan Mendez tells VOA
the situation is particularly dangerious in Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic
of Congo, northern Uganda, and Sudan's conflict-ridden province of Darfur()
Mendez says early warnings of a genocide include the spread of religious
intolerance, racism and xenophobia. He says his job is to monitor countries to
see whether these signs are present and to issue warnings to the world community
to prevent genocide.
Besides the Darfur region of Sudan, Mendez says another danger area is the
Ivory Coast, where there are signs of growing intolerance against immigrants.
The intolerance extends even to people who have been born in the country, but
are not considered true Ivorians.
"The problem as well is that the tension is so high and there are armed
militias and there is extensive hate speech, all of which creates a situation of
tension that can quickly derive into mass violence and mass violence in which
these so-called non-Ivorians are at risk," he said()
U.N. genocide expert Mendez says other countries of concern include northern
Uganda, Myanmar, West Papua in Indonesia, Central Asia and the Caucuses and
Colombia, where, he says, indigenous populations are at risk of extinction.