The rhetoric from Sudan is getting more militant as conflict escalates in regions disputed with the now-independent South Sudan. Sudan’s President Omar Al Bashir made his threat explicit at a pro-government rally in Blue Nile State, which is one of the disputed regions. “We tell our brothers in the south that if they want peace, we want peace. If they want war, our army is there,” he told the crowd. “Our message to our brothers in the south is this: you won the south not because you were victorious, but because of an agreement and a pledge we upheld, so you had better stay in your place.”
Sudan has accused South Sudan of funding and supporting the northern branch of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, which became the main opposition in the north after the secession of the south. The SPLM-N is an offshoot of South Sudan’s ruling party (so these accusations might not be too far off the mark), and is currently fighting a bitter battle with the Sudanese army over control of disputed border regions.
This was reiterated in comments made by Bashir’s presidential aide Nafie Ali Nafie. He declared Sudan would “negotiate with the SPLM in the only language they understand – the language of war.” Nafie is not just any presidential aide; he’s a hardliner with a nasty reputation for torture, and has the ear of the president.
Khartoum’s violent language is a worrying development given the parlous relations between the north and the south, and the many issues they are supposed to be tackling together, such as border demarcations, visa issues and, most importantly, the division of oil revenues. DM
Support DAILY MAVERICK & get FREE UBER vouchers every month
An increasingly rare commodity, quality independent journalism costs money, though not nearly as much as its absence can cost global community. No country can live and prosper without truth - that's why it matters.
Every Daily Maverick article and every Scorpio exposé is proof of our dedication to this unshakeable mission. Investing in our news media is by far the most effective investment into South Africa's future.
You can support Independent and Investigative journalism by joining Maverick Insider. If you contribute R150 or more per month you will receive R100 back in UBER vouchers. EVERY MONTH until October 2019.
So, if you'd like to help and do something meaningful for yourself and your country, then sign up to become a Maverick Insider. Together we can Defend Truth.
"Blue is the typical heavenly colour. The ultimate feeling it creates is one of rest. When it sinks to almost black it echoes grief that is hardly human." ~ Wassily Kandinsky