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UN warns of possible genocide in South Sudan

South Sudan

The United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, has expressed grave concern at the continued level of violence in several areas of South Sudan.

Dieng said President Salva Kiir has made a commitment to end the violence and bring about peace, yet there are still ongoing clashes, adding that the risk that mass atrocities will be committed remains ever-present.

According to the UN more than 52,000 people have fled ongoing ethnic violence in South Sudan to neighboring Uganda.

Dieng said in a statement on Tuesday that the figure is for January alone stressing that he is gravely concerned the situation could result in mass atrocities.

According to the statement, refugees entering Uganda come mainly from southern parts of South Sudan, including the cities of Kajo-Keji and Lainya.

The two cities are more than 100 kilometers to the south and southwest respectively of the capital Juba. The area is the focus of ethnic violence between government and opposition forces.

The UN said many of the displaced people had reported of killings, destruction of homes, looting and sexual violence in the region.

However, president salva Kiir last week denied the incidents but instead accused rebels of slaughtering women and children in the country.

Kiir has also described the UN repeated concern over possible genocide as “just rumors.”

Statement by Adama Dieng, UN's Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, on the situation in #SouthSudan https://t.co/Na3Snq2paM pic.twitter.com/YhZ0kmOKez

— UNMISS (@unmissmedia) February 8, 2017

Despite extensive discussions in the United Nations Security Council in November and December 2016 on a proposal to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan and increase targeted sanctions, agreement was not reached on either proposal.

In the meantime, weapons have continued to flow into the country.

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