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UN Warns of Potential Genocide in South Sudan Amid Renewed Violence

© REUTERS / StringerSouth Sudanese policemen and soldiers are seen along a street following renewed fighting in South Sudan's capital Juba (File)
South Sudanese policemen and soldiers are seen along a street following renewed fighting in South Sudan's capital Juba (File) - Sputnik International
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The country is witnessing mass killings and rape of members of particular ethnic groups, but it is still possible to take measures to prevent the genocide, the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide said.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide warned on Friday of possible genocide outbreak in South Sudan, pointing out the extreme polarization between tribal groups.

"There is a strong risk of violence escalating along ethnic lines, with the potential for genocide," Adama Dieng said.

After visiting South Sudan for five days, he said the country was witnessing mass killings and rape of members of particular ethnic groups.

"I am extremely saddened and disturbed to see South Sudan in its current state and I fear for its people. Even as the conflict becomes ever-more complex, the effects of the December 2013 outbreak of violence linger, and human rights violations committed at that time have not been accounted for. On the contrary, there is renewed violence on a daily basis, and any hope of reconciliation is elusive," Dieng said.

Children soldiers sit on February 10, 2015 with their rifles at a ceremony of the child soldiers disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration in South Sudan. - Sputnik International
Over 650 Kids Turned Into Child Soldiers in South Sudan in 2016
The UN special adviser added that it was still possible to take measures to prevent the genocide.

The civil war broke out in South Sudan in 2013 when President Salva Kiir fired Vice President Riek Machar. Despite a fragile truce signed in 2015, fighting resumed in July 2016.

The conflict is ethnic in nature, with Kiir representing Dinka tribe and Machar the rival Nuer tribe.

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