The ongoing dispute between Sudan and South Sudan has seen a sudden escalation of rhetoric as Sudanese President, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, announced that “(Sudan’s) main goal is liberation of the southern citizens from the SPLM … This is our responsibility before the Southern people.”
The President continued, describing the situation as follows: “We say that it has turned into a disease, a disease for us and the South Sudanese citizens. The main goal should the liberation from these insects and to get rid of them once and for all, God willing.”
As well was what could be described as a call for regime change, al-Bashir made what many have assumed to be something of an informal declaration of war, “Either we end up in Juba (South Sudan’s capital) and take everything, or you end up in Khartoum and take everything.” The president also hinted at imminent military action, “Within a few hours you are going to listen to good news from your brothers in Heglig.”
In response to these comments and declaration in the Sudanese parliament that South Sudan was the country’s worst enemy, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, a spokesman for South Sudan’s government said, “A holy war has been declared against us before, we are being called infidels, this is not new … The leadership of the government of South Sudan is a democratically elected government and it can only be changed by the will of the people of the Republic of South Sudan through peaceful election.
The UN has called on both sides to end the conflict immediately.
The loss of the Heglig oilfield has caused Sudan’s daily output to drop by approximately 40 000 bbls, whilst the South’s 350 000 bpd output has already been completely shut down amidst allegations of unfair fees and oil theft by Sudan.
Edited from various sources by David Bizley
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