- Title: Fighting and a collapsed economy in South Sudan fuelling civil war - UN envoy
- Date: 20th November 2016
- Summary: SOUTH KORDOFAN, SOUTH SUDAN BORDER (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF DAMAGED OIL FIELD LEAKING OIL PIPELINE
- Embargoed: 5th December 2016 12:28
- Keywords: Economy Civil War Conflict Genocide U.N Security Council
- Location: NEW YORK CITY, UNITED STATES/ JUBA, SOUTH KORDOFAN AND YEI, SOUTH SUDAN/ YUMBE, UGANDA
- City: NEW YORK CITY, UNITED STATES/ JUBA, SOUTH KORDOFAN AND YEI, SOUTH SUDAN/ YUMBE, UGANDA
- Country: South Sudan
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Civil Unrest
- Reuters ID: LVA00359903TH
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The United Nations chief in South Sudan has warned that continued weakening of the country's 5-year old economy amid ongoing fighting has placed South Sudan on the verge of a full-scale civil conflict.
The country's economy has been battered in the process, driving prices of basic commodities higher and leaving half the country's 12 million people without enough food.
Ellen Loj was speaking in New York City where said the situation could render national cohesion almost impossible to achieve.
"The deterioration of the economy and the increasingly fragmented conflict, often with ethnic undertones that we are seeing, have placed the country on a potential downward slide towards greater divisiveness and risk of a full-scale civil conflict that could render national cohesion almost impossible to achieve," said Loj.
Oil-producing South Sudan won independence from Sudan in 2011 but in December 2013 slid into a two-year civil war after a dispute between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar.
The pair signed a shaky peace deal last year, but fighting has continued and Machar fled the country in July.
The fighting has hurt oil production, a major source of revenue, which has also been hit by falling prices.
The most recent conflict has killed thousands of people and driven more than 2 million people from their homes, with many of them fleeing to neighbouring countries.
Adama Dieng, U.N. Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, recently visited South Sudan and reported to the U.N. Security Council that there was a strong risk of violence escalating along ethnic lines and potential genocide.
"I saw all the signs that ethnic hatred and targeting of civilians could evolve into genocide if something is not done now to stop it. I urge the Security Council and member states of the region to be united and to take action," said Dieng.
The United States circulated on Thursday (November 17) to the council a draft resolution to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan and further targeted sanctions amid the warnings.
U.N. peacekeepers currently protect nearly 200,000 civilians at six sites around the country.
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