FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Civil War Ignited Again in Sudan ?
90 Percent of Homes in Disputed Border Area Burned Down
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(June 4, 2008) The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) www.www.persecution.org has learned that up to 80,000 Southern Sudanese residents of the disputed area of Abeyi (pr. ahh-bee-A)have fled their homes following a clash between the Khartoum government’s Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Southern Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA).
Northern Sudanese troops have taken control of Abeyi in direct violation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed between the North and South in 2005. The conflict has created a new humanitarian crisis in Sudan .
Fighting broke out on May 14, 2008, and continued for several days. According to eyewitness accounts, UN sources and the SPLA, Northern troops were responsible for sparking the conflict. Various reports indicate that 90% of the homes in Abeyi have been burned down and thousands of people have been displaced.
South Sudan officials are accusing Khartoum of displacing Southern Sudanese residents in order to bring in Northern Sudanese Arabs ahead of a referendum for the inhabitants of oil-rich Abeyi to decide whether to be part of North or South Sudan . When the civil war between North and South Sudan came to an end in 2005 with the signing of the CPA, it was agreed that the people of Abeyi would hold this referendum in 2011.
The SAF is ignoring all its previous agreements and has begun ethnic cleansing in Abeyi by displacing all of the South Sudanese and moving in North Sudanese instead.
“Seventy to eighty thousand people are now living in the bush surrounding Abeyi. Kids, women, they need quick humanitarian help,” reported Mr. Ruben Benjamin in an interview with ICC. Mr. Benjamin is the Deputy Head of Mission and Political Affairs Officer at the Mission of the Government of South Sudan in Washington , D.C.
Mr. Benjamin said that the US needs to act because “the United States is the engineer for the Abeyi protocol (provision of the CPA giving Abeyi self-determination). Therefore it has to take care of it.”
Please act now to help the people of Abeyi. Mr. Benjamin is asking everyone who is concerned to do the following:
Please go to www.house.gov to find the contact information for your elected officials and alert them to what is happening in Abeyi. Ask them to put pressure on the government of Sudan to withdraw its forces from Abeyi and respect all the terms of the agreement it made with the Southern Sudanese.
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ICC is a Washington-DC based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church. For additional information or for an interview, contact ICC at 800-422-5441.