Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir declared Wednesday a war on South Sudan, vowing to bring down the government of the People's Liberation Movement Sudan (SPLM) in Juba. He made this announcement as military confrontations have been escalating on the border between the two countries.
"As of today our army will free the citizens of Southern Sudan from SPLM's reign, and from today it will be eye to eye tooth for a tooth and attack to attack, because it is the initiator (of war) that is most at fault" , said the Sudanese president, speaking before a gathering of members of the National Congress Party (the ruling party) in Khartoum. "We made an historic mistake by allowing the SPLM to rule the South, but we will correct this error, and we have a moral obligation to our citizens in Southern Sudan, which is to save them from SPLM" said Mr. al-Bashir. He has accused the government of South Sudan of not respecting the agreements and treaties that the two countries signed, stating that "these people do not keep their promises and do not respect any document, they are the traitors" .
"The Sudan should not be ruled differently between north and south, or they (SPLM) will be taking control of Khartoum or we'll take control of Juba " , he said. These remarks came as new clashes broke out near the town of Aweil in Southern Sudan, about 160 km west of Heglig oil field near the border between the two countries, an area which the South Sudanese army has seized since April 10.
The UN Security Council on Tuesday reiterated its call for Sudan to stop its air strikes in Sudan and urged the South to withdraw from Heglig. "The Council members discussed ways to mobilize its influence to urge the parties to adopt these measures," said U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice.
The oil region of Heglig is now in the hands of the army of South Sudan. South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit said last month that Heglig belonged to his country, an allegation dismissed by both Khartoum and the African Union. The pan-African organization and the UN called for an unconditional withdrawal of South Sudan troops from Heglig.