Risk of genocide seen in South Sudan conflict: U.N. official

UNITED NATIONS Fri May 2, 2014 3:42pm EDT

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The conflict in South Sudan has quickly degenerated into ethnic violence and there is a risk the fighting could spiral into genocide, Adama Dieng, the United Nations' special adviser on prevention of genocide, said on Friday.

"In the current situation, we see elements that we could categorize as risk factors of genocide and other atrocity crimes," Dieng told the U.N. Security Council.

Thousands have died and more than 1 million people have fled their homes since fighting erupted in December between troops backing President Salva Kiir and soldiers loyal to Riek Machar, his sacked deputy.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols, editing by G Crosse)

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