Bashir warns China on south split

2011-06-27 09:08
Beijing - Sudan's president Omar Hassan al-Bashir told Chinese media the impending split of his country's south risked triggering "time bombs", but said his government's bond with China would not be shaken by Beijing's courting of the secessionist south.

He made the comments in interviews published on Monday, the day he begins a state visit to China, his powerful patron and a major buy of Sudanese crude oil.

Beijing has been building ties with the emerging state in southern Sudan but continues to be one of the major supporters of Bashir, who faces indictment from the International Criminal Court over war crimes charges stemming from long-running fighting in the Darfur region.

Next week's secession of the oil-rich south is likely to feature in Bashir's talks with President Hu Jintao, scheduled for late Monday afternoon.

In interviews with official Chinese media, Bashir combined reassurances about his commitment to a peaceful secession of the south, which Beijing has encouraged, with a warning that the division could still go wrong.

Bashir said he fervently hopes to maintain peace between north and south Sudan.

But there are many 'time bombs' and the possibility of war again breaking out between the two sides cannot be excluded, the Chinese-language People's Daily, the country's main official newspaper, quoted Bashir as saying in an interview.

Bashir said he was not troubled by Beijing's dual loyalties, according to the newspaper and China's official Xinhua news agency.

"Our policy, and also China's, stands on the principle that each country is free to adopt the procedures and build relations in the manner that preserves its interests and relations," Bashir said in an interview conducted in Khartoum on Sunday, according to Xinhua.

"Therefore, even if China has established relations with the south Sudan state, that will definitely not be a deduction on its relations with the north."

Bashir had been due in Beijing early on Monday morning, but his arrival was rescheduled to later in the day.

Analysts expect Bashir to use his four-day visit to assure Chinese leaders that their investments and energy stake in Sudan will not be threatened by the north-south split scheduled for July 9.

Shunned by West

Bashir praised Sino-Sudanese relations as a "model" for developing countries, and lauded China's role as an investor in oil projects shunned by Western companies, whose home governments have imposed sanctions on Khartoum.

"When the American companies refused to work in the oil field and when restrictions were imposed on the Western companies operating in Sudan, we found in China the real partner," said Bashir in the interview published in English on Xinhua's website (

"In fact, we have received a better offer from China than that of the Western companies," said Bashir.

Beijing has been encouraging a smooth transition along Sudan's volatile north-south border and hopes to ensure that its oil supplies are not interrupted.

China's special envoy for Africa Affairs and former envoy to Sudan's conflict-torn Darfur region, Liu Guijin, told reporters last week that China had "done a lot of work to persuade" the north to implement the peace agreement and referendum.

Khartoum seized the main town in the north-south border region of Abyei on May 21, raising fears the two sides could return to conflict. But Sudan's military and the south's Sudan People's Liberation Army last week agreed to withdraw their forces in favour of Ethiopian peacekeepers.

China is Khartoum's top arms supplier, and human rights groups have urged Beijing to arrest Bashir on the outstanding war crimes charges against him during his visit.

China has shrugged off these calls, saying it has every right to invite the head of a state with which it has diplomatic relations.

China is not a signatory of the International Criminal Court's (ICC) Rome Statute under which Bashir faces an arrest warrant for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur.

Western powers have endorsed the court's arrest warrant, but analysts say the United States, which is not a party to the Rome Statute, and other countries have eased pressure over the indictment in hopes the south Sudanese secession will happen peacefully.

Read more on:    omar al-bashir  |  sudan  |  east africa

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Africa: Land of Billionaires!

Find out who are the richest of the richest in Africa!

Best bro movies 2014
Every man should be able to do these three things
Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!
Hottie of the day: Jesselyn

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Hot festive offers at!

Hurry! Stocks are limited. Don’t miss out. Shop Now!

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


Grandiose ideas and plans can trip you up today. Keep things in context and take one step at a more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.