Fear of genocide in region of Sudan

June 20, 2011 at 10:49 AM
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JUBA, Sudan, June 20 (UPI) -- The Anglican Church's archbishop of Canterbury says there is risk of genocide in Sudan's South Kordofan state where tens of thousands have been displaced.

Time magazine Monday said reports in recent weeks from the region in central Sudan indicated members of a minority, an opposition-aligned African ethnic group, are being slaughtered "like animals."

Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, last week warned, "The risk of another Darfur … is a real one."

Darfur is a region in western Sudan and it has been regarded as one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the world. Nearly 500,000 people died in fighting between rebels and government forces and nearly 3 million people have been displaced.

Time said a recent aerial bombardment campaign by the government forced tens of thousands of residents to flee into the foothills of the Nuba Mountains.

Since fighting in the region started two weeks ago, the Sudanese government, under President Omar al-Bashir has tried to keep information from flowing out of the region -- and to prevent humanitarian aid from flowing in, Time said.

Witnesses to the fighting said those fleeing the violence are in bad physical and emotional condition.

"You can see it in all their eyes. They are scared. They see this as a fight for survival," said one witness in an interview in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, which becomes an independent state next month.

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