Sudan's president makes forceful comments about neighboring South Sudan
Omar al-Bashir says he will 'cut' the hand of aggressors
Sudan President Omar al-Bashir has made a series of bold, aggressive
comments about neighboring nation - and seeming bitter rival South
Sudan. Al-Bashir says he will "cut" the hand of aggressors and retake
the disputed oil-producing Heglig region.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir addresses supporters during a rally at the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) headquarters in Khartoum.
"We will not give them an inch of our country, and whoever extends his hand on Sudan, we will cut it," Bashir told massive crowds in El-Obeid, North Kordofan's capital.
"Heglig is in Kordofan," he declared in a speech broadcast on state television. Dancing and waving his walking stick, President Omar al-Bashir seemingly beat the war drums.
Heglig accounts for 50 percent of Sudan's oil production, and remains hotly contested between Sudan and its recently seceded neighbor, South Sudan.
Bashir this week had threatened to overthrow the "insect" government in South Sudan following the attack on Heglig, the nation's most important oil field. South Sudanese troops seized the oilfield earlier this month.
"Our main goal is liberation of the southern citizens from the SPLM," Bashir told members of Sudan's ruling National Congress Party.
The Sudan People's Liberation Movement or SPLM is currently the ruling party in South Sudan.
"We call it an insect ... trying to destroy Sudan and our main target from today is to eliminate this insect completely," Bashir said.
"There are two choices: Either we end up in Juba or they end up in Khartoum. The old borders cannot take us both.
"In a few hours you are going to listen to good news from your brothers in Heglig. Heglig will not be the end. The end will be in Juba."
The audience sang songs about jihad, or holy wars were sung as Bashir rallied public support.
A foreign ministry official reported that Sudan was pursuing both military and diplomatic measures to remove South Sudan from the area.
"Military steps are under way ... and they are calculated measures," Omar Dahab, head of the ministry's crisis team, said.
"At the same time, they are taking into consideration the diplomatic efforts regarding the ending of the occupation. We have to end the occupation by hook or crook, by either way."
Sudan's military has released virtually no information about the situation on the ground, but South Sudan has vowed to hold its positions in Heglig in spite of air strikes.
Clashes had broken out last month in the Heglig area and escalated last week with waves of aerial bombardment hitting the South and South Sudan's seizure of the oil centre on April 10.
The United Nations, the US and the European Union have criticized the South's occupation of the north's most important oil field, equally denouncing Sudanese air raids against the South. South Sudan claims the raids prompted the invasion of Heglig.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Sudan, South Sudan, war, Heglig, Sudan President Omar al-Bashir
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