The UN special advisor on the prevention of genocide on Friday warned that South Sudan risks spiraling into genocide if violence continues.
“There is a strong risk of violence escalating along ethnic lines, with the potential for genocide,” Adam Dieng told reporters on Friday after a five-day visit to the country.
Dieng added that civilians in South Sudan were being targeted and killed along ethnic lines with the help of the media.
The media, including social media, are being used to spread hatred and encourage ethnic polarization, he said.
The world’s youngest nation has been torn apart by three years of civil war. The country plunged into chaos in 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup. This conflict has so far claimed tens of thousands of lives and forced more than 1 million to flee to neighboring nations.
A coalition government that sought to end three years old civil war was thrown into turmoil when fresh fighting broke out in July between government troops and ex-rebels forcing Machar to flee.