WASHINGTON (CNS): Two Sudanese bishops, calling the civil war in their country genocide, have asked the international community for help in ending the violence.
In a briefing in Washington on October 23, Bishops Paride Taban of Torit and Rudolf Deng Majak of Wau described a country where forests are strewn with human bones, oil wells are a curse, constructing buildings is dangerous, and schools require bomb shelters – if their classrooms are not being raided for potential soldiers.
Bishop Taban said that, having been to Jerusalem, he was familiar with genocide, but that anyone who visited the southern forests of Sudan “will know there has been a holocaust”.
The bishop described portions of the Sudanese countryside where “human bodies were smashed into the ground by tanks”, and yet “nobody speaks of this. These are very painful things … these are things happening today”.
Southern Sudan’s oil reserves are “a curse”, the bishop said.
“It is not a blessing,” he said, because the government has used the fuel to intensify its bombing efforts. Profits from oil sales have only one use, he added.
Meanwhile, constructing buildings is a constant risk, Bishop Taban said, because they become targets from the air.
“That’s why it’s genocide,” he said. “The bombs are dropped without planning – ‘to whom it may concern’.”