News24

Bashir warns about disputed Abyei region

2011-07-11 09:50

London - Sudan's president Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Monday that the disputed Abyei border region could be a source of conflict with newly independent South Sudan if agreements are not respected.

Bashir told the BBC's Hardtalk programme he wanted the UN peacekeepers to leave but welcomed a US-drafted resolution, unanimously approved by the UN Security Council last month, to deploy 4 200 Ethiopian troops to Abyei for six months.

"The Ethiopians have a mandate to keep peace in the zone, so we welcome the Ethiopian troops," he said, speaking through an interpreter.

"Both of us welcome them, because they are capable of doing their job, unlike the current troops who have failed to keep peace in this zone."

Khartoum's forces seized Abyei with tanks and troops on May 21, causing tens of thousands of people to flee and drawing an international outcry.

South Sudan seceded from the north on Saturday but the countries have yet to agree on who owns Abyei, stirring fears of renewed conflict.

"We will redeploy our troops outside Abyei as soon as the Ethiopians arrive," Bashir said.

North and south are yet to agree on important issues, including the line of the border, the ownership of Abyei and how they will handle oil revenues, the lifeblood of both economies.

Asked if the Abyei dispute could lead to war between the two countries, he said: "We divided Sudan for peace and we are keen on preserving peace.

"There's a protocol on Abyei - a protocol that governs Abyei if there's a peaceful solution. But in the past, we were forced to fight when they [the south] tried to impose a new reality."

When asked if he bore responsibility for the loss of south Sudan, Bashir replied "definitely", but said it was a price worth paying for peace.

Mostly Muslim Sudan fought rebels in the south, where most follow Christianity and traditional beliefs, for all but a few years from the 1950s in civil wars fuelled by ethnicity, religion, oil and ideology.

Comments
  • Currie_Mafia - 2011-07-11 10:56

    Dear Friends, Sudan's President al-Bashir is the world's worst mass murderer. Indicted by the International Criminal Court for genocide, he has for 20 years repeatedly butchered whole communities that challenged his rule. And it's happening again -- unless we stop him for good. Right now he's bombing women and children in the Nuba mountains, while his militias go door to door slitting the throats of whole families. For decades, world leaders have shamefully allowed al-Bashir's unspeakable brutality so they could maintain access to his regime's large oil reserves. But this week things are changing -- Sudan is splitting apart, inflation and food prices are sky-rocketing, and Bashir's grip on power is at its weakest ever. Let's send a massive message to our leaders that enough is enough and demand they end their shocking inaction now: by arresting this monster, levying powerful sanctions on his cabal, and committing to protect the people of Sudan from genocide. tell everyone -- we'll deliver the petition to UN Security Council members when we reach 300,000 signatures: http://www.avaaz.org/en/sudan_enough_is_enough/97.php?

      Anton - 2011-07-11 11:32

      Currie_Mafia GREAT !! 100 % BEHIND YOU !!

  • Marcell - 2011-07-11 11:08

    They will be at war again in less than a year as South Sudan has the wealth.

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