2012-05-22 16:49:11

Bishop denounces bombardment of Sudan's Nuba Mountains

Tens of thousands of hungry refugees have fled the conflict in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains to seek refuge across the border in south Sudan over the past two months. Macram Max Gassis is the Catholic Bishop of El Obeid diocese which includes the state of Kordofan where the Nuba Mountains are located. A vocal critic of human rights abuses in his homeland, Bishop Macram's name has been put forward for nomination to this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. The Sudanese prelate has been visiting several European nations to lobby governments to press both sides involved in the Sudanese conflict to agree to a ceasefire. He told Susy Hodges that Khartoum’s forces are carrying out near daily bombing raids in the Nuba Mountains region and are intentionally trying to starve its inhabitants, many of whom would prefer their region to merge with South Sudan.

Bishop Macra says "thousands have already died" in these bombardments and he describes the conflict in the Nuba Mountains as "a replica of what has been happening in Darfur." "The people," he continues, are afraid and are "suffering now from hunger" especially as people are not planting new crops because of the bombing raids. Bishops Macram is appealing for an end to the conflict between Sudan and Souoth Sudan saying "it's not in the interests of either side to engage in a full-scale war" ... as "it's the civilians who wil pay the consquence."

Listen to the full interview by Susy Hodges with Bishop Macram Max Gassis: RealAudioMP3

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