Middle East

South Sudan genocide risk 'considerably diminished:' UN head

  • UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaks during press conference at UN in Nairobi, Kenya, Wednesday, March 8, 2017. The risk of genocide has considerably diminished in South Sudan which is experiencing civil strife that has led to famine in some parts, Guterres said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

    UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaks during press conference at UN in Nairobi, Kenya, Wednesday, March 8, 2017. The risk of genocide has considerably diminished in South Sudan which is experiencing civil strife that has led to famine in some parts, Guterres said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)  (The Associated Press)

  • UN secretary general Antonio Guterres speaks during press conference at the UN in Nairobi, Kenya, Wednesday, March 8, 2017. Guterres has called for more stable funding and support for African Union troops in Somalia which is preventing extremists from taking over the country. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

    UN secretary general Antonio Guterres speaks during press conference at the UN in Nairobi, Kenya, Wednesday, March 8, 2017. Guterres has called for more stable funding and support for African Union troops in Somalia which is preventing extremists from taking over the country. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)  (The Associated Press)

  • UN secretary general Antonio Guterres speaks during press conference at the UN in Nairobi, Kenya, Wednesday, March 8, 2017. Guterres has called for more stable funding and support for African Union troops in Somalia which is preventing extremists from taking over the country. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

    UN secretary general Antonio Guterres speaks during press conference at the UN in Nairobi, Kenya, Wednesday, March 8, 2017. Guterres has called for more stable funding and support for African Union troops in Somalia which is preventing extremists from taking over the country. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)  (The Associated Press)

The United Nations secretary-general says the risk of genocide in South Sudan has "considerably diminished" though much fighting there continues.

Antonio Guterres made the comment Wednesday in response to a reporter's question about a new U.N. report saying warning signs for genocide are in place in South Sudan.

"We still have many incidents taking place, many fighting taking place ... but the risks of genocide have considerably diminished," Guterres said.

He says the U.N., African Union and the regional block IGAD have a common strategy to lessen the violence in South Sudan and start an all-inclusive dialogue.

The U.N. has warned of ethnic cleansing in South Sudan, which has been devastated by three years of civil war.

Guterres came to East Africa this week to witness Somalia's deadly drought crisis.