May 10, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese President Omer Al-Bashir vowed on Thursday that threats and resolutions by the UN Security Council (UNSC) and its African Union counterpart (AUPSC) will not force his country to alter its policy towards South Sudan.
- Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir addresses celebrating troops during his visit to Sudan’s main petroleum centre of Heglig on April 23, 2012
Addressing a mobilisation rally held at the Oil House in the capital Khartoum, Al-Bashir asserted that the UN cannot impose on Sudan “something it does not want.”
The Sudanese president was referring to a UNSC resolution issued on 3 May on the conflict between his country and neighbouring South Sudan.
Based on a roadmap referred by the AUPSC, the UNSC resolution ordered immediate cessation of hostilities between the two neighbours and threatened them with non-military sanctions if they don’t return to negotiations on oil exports, disputed borders, security and citizenship with a three-month deadline to conclude them.
The resolution, which followed the worst fighting in mid-April between the two countries around the disputed oil region of Helig, also directed Khartoum to cooperate with the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N), which Khartoum accuses Juba of backing.
SPLM-N has been fighting Sudanese government forces in the border regions of South Kordofan and Blue Nile since last year.
Hope for a negotiated settlement to the conflict was dashed when Al-Bashir disavowed a deal signed by his negotiators in Addis Ababa in June last year.
The deal was meant to stop the fighting and recognise the SPLM-N as a legal political party in Sudan.
“We only do the things we want to do. And no security council or the whole world for the matter can force us to act otherwise” Al-Bashir told the crowd.
Al-Bashir accused the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in Juba of plotting to change the regime in Khartoum, and vowed that his country will always respond in kind.
“If they want to change the regime in Khartoum, we will work to change the regime in Juba. If they want to attrite us, we will attrite them. And if they want to support our rebels, we will support theirs.”
He further conditioned his country’s return to negotiations on resolving all security problems, adding that Khartoum will not negotiate on any of the outstanding issues unless it guarantees no further aggression on Sudan’s territories.
Khartoum says it officially accepts the UNSC resolution but stresses that security issues must be accorded priority in the talks.
The Sudanese government is keen to secure a deal that ensures Juba’s cessation of alleged support to Sudanese rebels in the hope that it will then be able to crush them militarily.
Al-Bashir’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) already announced on Wednesday its total rejection of the UNSC’s imposition of cooperation with the SPLM-N.
This rejection was all but expected due to pressure from extremist elements within the NCP and its far-right cousin, the Just Peace Forum (JPF), led by Al-Bashir’s uncle Al-Tayeb Mustafa.
South Sudan, which denies Khartoum’s accusations of supporting rebels, says it accepts the UNSC resolution.
Al-Bashir also threatened to tighten closure of borders with South Sudan if no security deal is reached.
Sudan already declared a state of emergency in border areas with South Sudan and announced a policy of “shoot to kill” against any elements involved in cross-border trade.