Anglican leader warns of 'another Darfur' in Sudan

14th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

The head of the Anglican church, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, warned Tuesday that unrest in central Sudan risked becoming "another Darfur" and urged international action.

In a statement, Williams said he and other Christian leaders "deplore the mounting level of aggression and bloodshed in South Kordofan state and the indiscriminate violence on the part of government troops against civilians".

"This violence is a major threat to the stability of Sudan just as the new state of South Sudan is coming into being," the archbishop added.

"The humanitarian challenge is already great, and the risk of another Darfur situation, with civilian populations at the mercy of government-supported terror, is a real one."

He was speaking as the United Nations said that Khartoum stepped up air strikes in South Kordofan, the north's only oil-producing state which is on the south Sudan border, causing "huge suffering" to the civilian population.

The SAF (Sudanese Armed Forces -- northern army) denied it was targeting civilians, saying it was only targeting rebels, in unrest that comes just weeks before the south is due to win recognition as an independent state.

Williams said the new Anglican cathedral in Kadugli had been burned down, and brutal killings had been reported.

"International awareness of this situation is essential," he said, urging the British government, the UN Security Council, the EU, the Arab League and the African Union to guarantee humanitarian access and safety for citizens.

© 2011 AFP

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