Killing Fields Discovered in Southern Sudan

Thousands Slaughtered, Says Freedom House Subsidiary

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LIANG, Sudan, FEB. 10, 2003 ( An international team of investigators discovered fields of human remains, including those of children, in the Upper Nile province of southern Sudan, a group says.

In a statement, the Center for Religious Freedom, a division of Freedom House, said, «Interviews with local survivors confirmed that the remains were those of victims of an unprovoked attack [on] the unarmed civilian villages of Liang, Dengaji, Kawaji and Yawaji in April of 2002.»

«It is estimated that from one-third to one-half of the 6,000 civilians originally living in the region were killed in the attack,» the center added.

«The attackers were reported by the survivors to be the Sudan regular army from the Boing Garrison, commanded by Brigadier General Ibrahim Saleh,» the Center for Religious Freedom reported.

It continued: «Striking in the early morning while the villagers slept, the heavily armed Government of Sudan (GOS) soldiers began killing the unarmed residents and burning their houses. The attackers were reportedly armed with 60 mm mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, 12.7 mm heavy machine guns and AK-47 assault rifles.»

«In a videotaped interview, Tunya Jok described his horror as he witnessed his 4-year-old daughter shot and killed as she fled from the GOS soldiers,» the center said. «Then, his 6-year-old son was captured and beheaded by the soldiers. His body was thrown into a burning hut and his head planted upright, facing away from the hut.»

«[The human rights organizations] Servant’s Heart, Freedom Quest International, and Voice of the Martyrs (Canada) call for an investigation by the international civilian protection and monitoring team assigned to report on violations of the March 2002 agreement between the government of Sudan and the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement,» the statement added.

«Among other things, both sides agreed not to attack civilian targets,» it said. «We also call on the U.S. State Department to include this incident in their Sudan Peace Act-mandated report to Congress on atrocities and war criminals in southern Sudan.»

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