Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is reported to have described the neighboring South Sudan government as an ‘enemy’ to his country, local news portal Radio Tamazuj reports.
Sudan in September threatened to close its border with South Sudan if authorities in the South did not expel groups opposed to Sudanese authorities.
Bashir was speaking in an address to Sudanese Intelligence officers over the past weekend. According to him, South Sudan was still targeting his country and that it does want to implement the 2012 Joint Cooperation Agreements signed by the two countries.
They were supposed to be given their rights and then hand over their guns so that they come to us with their hands, but they didn’t do so. They want us to negotiate with them, but there will not be any integration of rebels.
Bashir further stressed that any peace agreement signed with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-North) would not include the integration of its fighters in the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), saying the SPLA-North rebels are still part of South Sudan army.
“Those who are in Blue Nile are still part of the SPLA, and those who are still in South Kordofan are still part of the SPLA which is South Sudan’s army.
“They were supposed to be given their rights and then hand over their guns so that they come to us with their hands, but they didn’t do so. They want us to negotiate with them, but there will not be any integration of rebels,” he is quoted to have said.
His posture according to political watchers is a sign of growing tensions over slow implementation of the joint agreements between the two countries.
Since gaining independence in 1956, Sudan has been witnessing a series of civil wars caused by political, economic, religious and cultural marginalization. Efforts towards peace were made after a comprehensive peace deal signed in 2005 which facilitated the independence of South Sudan in 2011.
Bashir also rejected any new initiative for dialogue, saying whoever wants to join the National Dialogue must come and register his or her name, while calling on those taking up arms for political ends to join the peace process.
President Bashir reiterated his pledge to enforce peace and stability across the country in the coming dry season by all means.