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Sudan’s President Bashir Criticized Over Alleged Contradictory Statements

Former rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) say President Omar Al-Bashir’s recent statements are contradictory and could undermine the adjourned dialogue between the two parties. This comes after President Bashir Wednesday called on the SPLM to work to unify the country. He also promised there would be no resumption of war between the north and the south. Some political observers believe Bashir’s statements are an attempt to calm tensions after his call to increase mujahedeen recruits, which the SPLM described as deplorable.

A confrontation is reported to be brewing between Khartoum and south Sudan's main party, SPLM, which observers say could potentiality undermine the country's coalition government and implementation of the 2005 peace deal, which effectively ended the war between the north and the south.

Southern ministers walked out of Sudan's Government of National Unity last month, claiming that Khartoum was stalling on the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

Meanwhile, the SPLM said although it is not advocating war, it is prepared to defend itself against any aggression. Malik Agar is the vice chairman of the SPLM. From the capital, Khartoum he tells reporter Peter Clottey that they don’t know whether to believe President Bashir or not.

“We don’t know whether he has changed the trend from trend of war to a trend of peace because three days ago he was calling on the mujahedeens or the holy warriors to mobilize in the camps and to resume the training and the preparation for war. But now he is saying that there is no return to war. That may be a good portion for everything else, but for us in the SPLM we have different mission altogether. We are not advocating war…but we reserve the aright to defend ourselves, should war breakout” Agar pointed out.

He said the SPLM wants the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which effectively ended the war between the north and the south to be implemented.

“We are partners for the implementation of the CPA that we have already agreed between our two parties. So we would continue to be partners as long as the CPA is still there and as long as the implementation of the CPA is still there. As for unity, the priority of the SPLM is unity, and that this is a national party that has been calling for unity on new basis,” he said.

Agar reiterated the SPLM’s frustration with what he described as President Bashir’s inconsistencies.

“I see contradictions that the mobilization for jihad and the holy war on one hand and then the call for peace on the other hand, and the youths are going to the camps. For us we reserve the right to defend ourselves… it literally means we reserve the right to defend ourselves if we are attacked. We are not going to say ladies and gentlemen,” Agar noted.