Violence has ticked up in the southern part of Sudan, sparking fears of another civil war. More than 2,000 people have been killed in 2009 in what locals refer to as "tribal war," but what United Nations diplomats suspect is an organized campaign from the north to make a referendum on South Sudan's independence in 2011 impossible to carry out. With child abductions and a new flood of refugees, the U.N.'s top official in southern Sudan has referred to the region as "the cockpit" of violence featuring an unusual "ease and availability of ammunition." More than 2 million died during Sudan's civil war, which ended in 2005 with a peace agreement.
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