By Mick Krever, CNN
Fears of all-out civil war in the world’s newest country, South Sudan, are at an all-time high a week after rebels slaughtered at least 400 people in the town of Bentiu.
“This is the newest country in the world, and it threatens to become one of the bloodiest countries in the world,” David Miliband, president of the International Rescue Committee, told CNN’s Paula Newton on Wednesday.
A scant three years ago, the country was full of jubilation as it celebrated its independence from Sudan after an internationally brokered referendum.
That changed last year, when the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, accused his former vice president of planning a coup; Riek Machar is now the president’s nemesis and a rebel leader.
Conflict between rival groups broke out in December, as a political power struggle erupted into violence. More than a million have fled their homes in what was already, one of the world's poorest nations.
“It’s large-scale, it’s random, and it is afflicting the whole country,” Miliband said. “The danger of genocidal killings is very real.”
By Tom Evans; Sr. Writer; AMANPOUR.
(CNN) - Amid new questions about the credibility of next week's elections in Sudan, a former U.S. State Department official accused the Obama administration of wasting time on a new policy on the bitterly divided nation.
"They spent almost a year developing this notion of a 'new policy' toward Sudan," Jendayi Frazer, assistant secretary of state for African affairs under President George W. Bush, said Wednesday in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
"And they came up with this notion of 'carrots and stick' which every administration has. So they wasted almost a whole year on a policy review, and yet they are still talking with many different voices."
She said the Obama administration is sharply divided on how to tackle Sudan, the largest country in Africa, and one that is rich in oil reserves.
"I think the biggest challenge for the Obama administration is they're divided. You see very mixed signals coming out from the special envoy (to Sudan) versus the secretary (of state)."