Sudan President Omar Hassan al-Bashir speaking at a youth rally of the ruling National Congress Party on April 18, 2012. The president said that they would have to liberate the south if provocations continue., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
The Christian Science Monitor - CSMonitor.com
Sudan threatens to unseat South Sudan government amidst clashes
Omar al-Bashir said he would "liberate" the people of South Sudan if fighting over oil revenues continue
By Michael Onyiego and Mohamed Saeed,
The Associated Press
April 18, 2012 at 10:53 pm EDT
Sudan's president threatened Wednesday to topple his rival government to the south, harsh words that could escalate the conflict between the two nations as they intensify clashes over their shared border.
As the international community pushed for a peaceful solution to the dispute, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir vowed to "liberate" the people of South Sudan, saying it was his country's duty to them.
South Sudan broke away from Sudan in July after decades of civil war, creating the world's newest country. But the two never agreed on how to share the oil wealth found in the region between the countries, and the border was never fully demarcated.
Fighting has intensified in the last several weeks amid fears the two sides could return to an all-out war. On Tuesday, soldiers from Sudan and South Sudan clashed at a river dividing their two countries, leaving 22 dead as fighting spread to a new area of the tense border.
The river battle comes amid wider violence along the shared border around the oil town of Heglig, which South Sudan troops took control of last week. Sudanese aircraft have been bombing South Sudan's Unity State as a part of that fighting.
Speaking to young members of his ruling party in Khartoum late Wednesday, the Sudanese president accused the ruling South Sudan People's Liberation Movement and its army of implementing an "external" agenda that don't serve its own people.
Al-Bashir accused Juba of trying to topple his government and vowed to retaliate.
"This situation makes it imperative upon Sudan to confront the challenge of the State of South Sudan to topple the government in Khartoum by working to liberate the Southern nationals," from the southern ruling party, he said.
Al-Bashir is known for his tough rhetoric. His troops were surprised by the capture of the oil-rich town and have vowed to reclaim it, but his government also is using diplomatic channels to try to resolve the issue.
Mustafa Osman Ismail, a top adviser to al-Bashir, warned South Sudan that it must immediately withdraw from Heglig or face counterattacks. Ismail spoke in Ethiopia's capital, where he met with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and African Union officials.
He said the trip was intended to "ask those with influence" to persuade South Sudan to withdraw from Heglig. Ismail said al-Bashir called several heads of state and sent his foreign minister to South Africa to work on the issue.
"Time is running short, and our army is also getting ready," said Ismail.
He said Khartoum is under pressure from Sudan's public to liberate "the invaded territory" after South Sudan TV broadcast images of what he said are medical staff captured in Heglig.
Al-Bashir said it is the responsibility of his government to rid the southerners from the ruling party in the south, The Sudan People's Liberation Movement, because it was his government that helped them seize power.
"It was we who have contributed to empowering the SPLM in the South and therefore we are responsible before our people in the South to correct the mistake we have committed," he said.
African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki urged the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday to take action to stop the fighting between Sudan and South Sudan, warning that both sides are locked in a "logic of war" with hardliners increasingly in control.
Security Council members promised to urgently discuss the crisis, including the possibility of sanctions, said U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, the current Security Council president. She briefed reporters about the former South African president's closed discussion with the council via videoconference.
Rice said Mbeki told the council that Khartoum believes South Sudan is seeking regime change in its northern neighbor "and that if that is the case, then the objective of Khartoum would also be regime change" in the South.
"Frankly, one would hope that that is rhetoric and not the objective or the purported objective of either side," Rice said.
A Sudan foreign ministry official denounced Rice's comments Wednesday.
"This means treating the culprit and victim equally," Foreign Ministry spokesman Omar Dahab said. He said the "aggression" by Southern Sudanese troops on the Heglig area was a "flagrant violation" of the U.N. charter.
"It is the duty of the Security Council to find an end to the situation in Heglig," Dahab said.
Tuesday's firefight began after a Sudanese soldier shot a South Sudan soldier who was getting water from the river, South Sudan government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin said Wednesday.
In all, seven South Sudan soldiers and 15 Sudan soldiers died near the town of Meiram, along the border with Sudan's South Kordofan state and South Sudan's Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, he said.
But even as border violence spread to new regions, Benjamin labeled the fight a "misunderstanding" and said he did not think violence would continue there.
April 18, 2012
Bashir Seeks to 'Liberate' South Sudan
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir speaks at the National Congress Party headquarters in Khartoum, April 18, 2012. Addressing a youth rally, Bashir threatened to overthrow the government of South Sudan.
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has vowed to remove South Sudan's ruling party from power, as tension between the countries continues to escalate.
Addressing a rally in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, Wednesday, Bashir said Sudan's "main goal" is to, in his words, liberate South Sudan's people from the ruling SPLM party.
He spoke after Sudanese and South Sudanese forces battled overnight near the town of Meiram, located in Sudan's Southern Kordofan state.
The sides have fought a series of clashes along their border, raising fears of a full-scale war. Sudan is demanding southern forces leave the town of Heglig, which they occupied last week. The south has condemned Sudan for a series of airstrikes.
The countries have been unable to resolve disputes over borders, oil, and citizenship stemming from the south's independence last July.
Speaking in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa Wednesday, an adviser to Bashir, Mustafa Osman, said Sudan wants to settle the issues through negotiations but is facing demands for action from the public.
He said the army is ready to recapture Heglig, which produces about half of Sudan's oil.
After discussing the Sudan crisis on Tuesday, the United Nations Security Council said it will make "every effort" to get sides to end the conflict and return to negotiations.
Find this article at:
Act responsibly to avoid war, AU tells Sudan and South Sudan
April 18, 2012 - (AWEIL) The African Union (AU) on Wednesday urged both Sudan and South Sudan to “act responsibly” and immediately end the current conflict between their armed forces, as demanded by the international community.
The AU, in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, also said it remains “gravely” concerned about a possible return to war between the two countries, particularly citing the escalation of military operations, as well as the recent troop movements into and around the oil-producing Abyei region.
“These flagrant violations of the 20 June 2011 Agreement on the Temporary Security and Administrative Arrangements for Abyei are unacceptable. The AU reiterates its demand that the remaining 300 SAF forces in Abyei and 700 South Sudan Police Forces are also immediately and unconditionally redeployed out of the Abyei area,” the statement reads in part.
The African body, however, said it fully supports the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), in its efforts to foster security and assist the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC), through its facilitator.
UNISFA, was established in June last year under the terms of Security Council resolution 1990 (2011) to monitor and verify the redeployment of any Sudan Armed Forces, Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLM) or its successor from the Abyei area. It comprises a maximum of 4200 military personnel, 50 police personnel, and appropriate civilian support.
Both Sudan and South Sudan have been fighting around disputed border area of Heglig ever since it was occupied by the southern army (SPLA) last week, in what analysts say could trigger return to war.
The AU called upon the two countries to take immediate steps to reduce tensions, and to act responsibly in the spirit of cooperation in pursuit of establishing two viable states.
Specifically, the AU recalled the draft decisions of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism (JPSM), proposed to the Parties by the African Union High?Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), on 4 April 2012, which provide a sound basis for establishing mutual security along the common border between Sudan and South Sudan and, to this end, urges the Parties to:
• Scrupulously implement the security agreements already entered into, which are sufficient by themselves to address the principal concerns of the Parties. These include especially the 18 September 2011 decisions of the JPSM and the 10 February 2012 Memorandum of Understanding on Non?Aggression and Cooperation; • Ensure that their respective armed forces adhere scrupulously to relevant provisions of human rights law and international humanitarian law, with respect to the protection of civilians, prisoners of war and the wounded; • Respect and protect the oil installations and related infrastructure both in the north and south, recognizing that these are the property of the people of north and south Sudan respectively.
Meanwhile, the AU has urged both Sudan and South Sudan to adopt a security and administrative centre line for the border, as a way of defusing the current tension and taking the necessary practical measures to disengage their respective armed forces.
“This centre line should be based upon the border as it existed on 1 January 1956, following the delineation in those areas in which it has been agreed, and respecting the administrative arrangements as they existed on the ground on 9 July 2011,” further notes the AU statement.
Such an arrangement, it added, in no way, prejudices the final resolution of the status of the disputed areas and the claims that can be made by either side.
Ban Ki-Moon, the United Nations Secretary General on Tuesday reiterated his call for the complete withdrawal of South Sudan troops from Heglig. His earlier remark was, however, welcomed with widespread protests and condemnation from activists all over South Sudan.
19 Apr, 2012, 10.50AM IST
South Sudan joins World Bank, IMF
WASHINGTON: Oil-rich South Sudan, the world's newest nation and one of the least developed countries, has joined the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund.
The country's formal inclusion in the IMF and the World Bank Group took place yesterday after South Sudan Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Kosti Manibe Ngai signed the Articles of Agreement and Conventions here.
"Even before we became members, the World Bank has already been collaborating closely with us... So today we are very pleased that the formalities have finally been completed, and we look forward to a long-term partnership with the World Bank Group as we work together on the much-needed development of South Sudan," Ngai said.
South Sudan became the world's newest country on July 9, 2011, after decades of conflict.
It has some of the lowest education, health, and other human development results in the world, and more than half of the population lives below the poverty line.
The country, however, has rich agricultural and forestry potential, and significant oil reserves.
In addition to becoming a member of International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), South Sudan joined the International Finance Corporation (IFC), International Development Association (IDA), the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).