April 18, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s President Omer Al-Bashir escalated war rhetoric against South Sudan on Wednesday, saying that Khartoum’s goal is to rid southerners of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in Juba.
- Sudan’s President Omer Al-Bashir addressing mobilization rally in Khartoum on Wendesday, 18 April (AFP)
Sudan and South Sudan have been fighting around the disputed border area of Heglig since it was occupied by the southern army last week amid growing fears that the recently-separated countries are heading for all-out war.
Addressing a mobilisation rally organised by the youth sector of his ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in Khartoum, Al-Bashir promised that the coming hours will bring “good news” from Sudanese forces fighting, who he said were on the outskirts of Heglig.
He accused South Sudan’s ruling party, the SPLM, of seeking to execute what he termed as the agendas of world powers to oust the government in Khartoum before threatening to do it the other way around.
“Either we end up occupying Juba or you end up occupying Khartoum but the boundaries of the old Sudan can no longer fit us together, only one of us has to remain standing” Bashir said.
The Sudanese president said that liberating Heglig would be the first step towards achieving the main goal which, according to him, is to “completely annihilate” the SPLM, describing it as an insect that must be crushed.
He further pledged to liberate South Sudan’s people from the SPLM and correct in the process what he described as their “mistake” of helping the SPLM to rule in Juba.
“We have promised the south’s people to free them from the SPLM rule immediately and we bear a responsibility before the south’s citizens after we contributed to establishing the SPLM rule in the South” he said
Al-Bashir vowed that Sudanese forces will teach South Sudan a lesson in ’Jihad’ and patriotism.
He disclosed that he told the head of the African Union (AU) mediation team, Thabo Mbeki, not to get too happy after the accord signed last month in Addis Ababa because the south’s leaders are "agents" being played by world powers.
According to Bashir, the former South African president acknowledged that he was right in a phone conversation that took place after the Heglig events.
Al Jazeera English | Bashir calls South Sudan leaders ’insects’ | 19 April 2012