Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir Pledges To 'Liberate' South Sudan

 
on April 18 2012 1:29 PM
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Defense Minister Muhammad Hussein during a Popular Defense Force rally in Khartoum in March
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Defense Minister Muhammad Hussein during a Popular Defense Force rally in Khartoum in March Reuters

Omar al-Bashir, the President of Sudan, announced Wednesday that he intends to liberate South Sudan from its government.

Our main goal is liberation of southern citizens from the SPLM, al- Bashir told members of his governing National Congress Party during a political rally at party headquarters, Reuters reported.  The Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), a former rebel group, has ruled South Sudan since its independence from Sudan in July 2011.

The story began in Heglig, but will end in Khartoum or Juba, and there will be 'good news' from the border region in the coming hours, al-Bashir said.

South Sudanese forces entered the Sudanese oil-producing town of Heglig last week, after  Sudanese air raids into South Sudan's territory. Sudan sent troops there on Friday in an unsuccessful attempt to force the South Sudanese out of the area.

The United Nations Security Council is now considering sanctions, and has called for South Sudan to withdraw from Heglig and for the Sudanese air force to cease bombardment in South Sudan.

Council members discussed ways to leverage the influence of the council to press the parties to take these steps, and included in that a discussion potentially of sanctions, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice said during a Tuesday press conference.

The conflict has now spread to throughout the oil-rich border region, and there are fears that an all-out war is imminent.

Ironically, in a seprate event, South Sudan, the world's newest country, became the newest member of both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday.

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