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U.N. warns South Sudan violence could escalate to genocide


November 12, 2016 (JUBA) - South Sudan violence risks spiralling into genocide, warned a U.N. special adviser on prevention of genocide on Friday, adding that there is an urgent need to investigate the ongoing grave human rights in Yei.

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Adama Dieng, UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, addresses a press conference in Juba on Friday 11, 2016 (UNMISS Photo)

"I am dismayed to report that what I have seen and heard here has confirmed my concerns that there is a strong risk of violence escalating along ethnic lines, with the potential for genocide," said Adama Dieng, U.N. special adviser on prevention of genocide, in a press conference held in Juba at the end of his second visit to the country since May 2014.

He said he realized that instead of developing national identity, there is extreme polarization in the young country between some tribal groups. Also, he stressed that tribal divisions "increased in certain places since the outbreak of violence in July this year".

"Throughout the week, conversations with all actors have confirmed that what began as a political conflict has transformed into what could become an outright ethnic war," he said.

During his five-day visit, Dieng met with the UNMISS staff, South Sudanese government officials, religious leaders, civil society groups and community members. He also visited the UN protection site in Juba and travelled to Yei near the border with Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

He regretted that previous commitments to end violence made by the South Sudanese officials during his first visit have not been honoured, adding that the "conflict becomes ever-more complex" , and ’’any hope of reconciliation is elusive’’.

The visit of the UN special adviser on prevention of genocide to Juba comes after the publication of a report by a UN investigation panel into the violence which occurred in Juba in 2016 and UNMISS response

South Sudan has been riven by ethnic violence since the eruption of armed conflict between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and forces supporting Riek Machar in December 2013 .

A peace agreement was signed in August 2015, but violence has resumed in different parts of the country since July 2016. Tens of thousands have been killed and more than 2 million displaced.


Dieng dedicated important part of his speech in the press conference about the situation in Yei which is the only area that he visited during his second visit to the country.

Speaking about Yei, UN official called to probe the human rights violations in the state, stressing the gravity of the situation there "merits immediate intervention – a full scale fact-finding investigation and enhanced humanitarian support"

To explain the reason of the visit, Dieng motioned reports about the expulsion of farmers from their agricultural plots into Yei town.

"These farmers have lost their homes and belongings, livestock and land. Property has been looted and villages have been burned," he said.

"I heard reports of violence that included targeted killings, assault, maiming, mutilation, rape, and the barbarous use of machetes to hack families to death. Bodies have been found in the river," he added.

He said the ongoing violence forced civilians to flee Yei, adding that during his visit he saw saw families packing up the few belongings they have left and waiting on the side of the road for transport – either to Juba or to neighbouring Uganda.

"The signs are all there for the spread of this ethnic hatred and targeting of civilians that could evolve into genocide, if something is not done now to stop it. I urge the people of South Sudan to take action," he said.


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  • 12 November 2016 13:21, by Eastern

    South Sudanese are already divided along ethnic lines. Even among the SPLA loyal to Kiir; there’s purging of those who are not certain "preferred" tribe. This is happening in Kaya right now....

    repondre message

    • 12 November 2016 14:11, by jubaone

      Equatoria can and will never be the same after we have let these jienge scoundrels and half humans mix up with us. They are the embodiment of all that is evil and satanic: killing, stealing, raping, corruption, malice, fornicators etc. Equatoria will never be peaceful unless we remove this human burden from our backs. You know what they eat, drink, smoke, do the right thing.

      repondre message

      • 12 November 2016 20:20, by Naath

        The looming second genocide in South Sudan is what Obama want to see happening before he step down in 2017, so he would be more than happy. Obama, sent Americans military trainers to train Dinka Council of Elders forces to commit more genocide so he was not satisfied with the genocide of 2013. Beside, military training, Obama help JCE with drone to be used against other tribes.

        repondre message

        • 12 November 2016 20:25, by Naath

          Drone has been used in Central and Western Equatoria for the whole month of July 2016, but Kiir and Obama administrations are not satisfied with the dead bodies yet.

          repondre message

      • 13 November 2016 07:57, by S. Sudan Nationalist

        Genocide is what we will reap for spreading insults, defamation and hatred to South Sudanese. This will shut internal initiatives for dialogue for good. I think we are not discussing the problems of South Sudan in a responsible manner. Change should start with examining ourselves.

        repondre message

        • 13 November 2016 09:12, by Eastern

          There are no opportunities for internal initiatives if the foreign ones can be binned without those claiming leadership of the country facing consequencies. Since 2005, the SPLM led government came to power with one main objective in mind: to pay the Equatorians for Kokora of the 1980s. South Sudan is headed to disintegration!!

          repondre message

      • 13 November 2016 13:28, by real Dinka


        your hatred against Dinka will never change your way of living otherwise lets speak peace my dear

        repondre message

        • 13 November 2016 16:08, by jubaone

          Real Dinka,
          I’ve no problems with jienges and I have some good friends. But they should keep to themselves and we as Equatorians keep to ourselves. Is that a problem? Even brothers of same parents once as adults have to go out of home. Each forming his family. But you jienges still wants to go to your brothers house and even want to sleep with his wife how? No. That’s shokol Sahara.

          repondre message

  • 12 November 2016 21:28, by Whortti Bor Manza

    I hope this foolish head of JMEC has read this report. This old fool is fooling himself by telling the world that there is peace to monitor.

    repondre message

    • 14 November 2016 01:55, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g


      Have not known these people are only for employment in South Sudan? Do you think they care if you ruin yourselves as long as the flow of dollars go to their pockets from the west? Peace will only come to the country by dismantling Terror in J1!

      repondre message

  • 13 November 2016 13:08, by real Dinka

    Why don’t you indices Riak Machar for his war crime against humanity?

    repondre message

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