April 18, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese president, Omer Hassan Al-Bashir, said that several Western countries which encouraged South Sudan’s independence have apologised for their actions and urged Khartoum to reunite with the newborn state.
- SPLA soldier stands next to a machine gun mounted on a truck in Malakal town, on December 30, 2013 (Photo Reuters/James Akena)
Bashir, who addressed a meeting of ruling party’s pastoralists and farmers’ secretariat on Thursday evening, said that Sudan’s enemies who supported secession of the south in order to destroy the north regretted their action, noting they are now begging Khartoum to reunite with Juba.
“They pushed the south to secede in order to destroy the north, however when they saw what happened in the south they secretly told us they were mistaken and wished they had listened to us and now they asked us to reunite”, he said.
The Sudanese president said his government can’t decide on reunification with the south, underscoring the matter must be referred to the Sudanese people.
“We are a sovereign state and if another country seeks to join us, the government must be convinced by the move and then refer the issue to the Sudanese people”, he added.
South Sudan seceded from Sudan on July 9th 2011 following a referendum on whether the semi-autonomous region should remain a part of the country or become independent. 99% of the southern voters chose independence.
Observers say that strained relations between the countries and the internal crises they are currently facing are direct consequence of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which failed to adequately address several post-cessation issues.
Following the start of the inter -South Sudanese crisis last December many analysts said that South Sudan succumbed in the old "African bugaboo": tribalism and called to put the new born state under UN trusteeship.
However, Sudanese foreign minister, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, violently rejected the idea saying “These suggestions undermine authority of a sovereign state and no country would accept such views”.