Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir has vowed to remove South Sudan’s ruling party from power, as tension between the countries continues to escalate.
Addressing a rally in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, Wednesday, Bashir said Sudan’s “main goal” is to, in his words, liberate South Sudan’s people from the ruling SPLM party.
He spoke after Sudanese and South Sudanese forces battled overnight near the town of Meiram, located in Sudan’s Southern Kordofan state.
The sides have fought a series of clashes along their border, raising fears of a full-scale war. Sudan is demanding southern forces leave the town of Heglig, which they occupied last week. The south has condemned Sudan for a series of airstrikes.
The countries have been unable to resolve disputes over borders, oil, and citizenship stemming from the south’s independence last July.
Speaking in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa Wednesday, an adviser to Bashir, Mustafa Osman, said Sudan wants to settle the issues through negotiations but is facing demands for action from the public.
He said the army is ready to recapture Heglig, which produces about half of Sudan’s oil.
After discussing the Sudan crisis on Tuesday, the United Nations Security Council said it will make “every effort” to get sides to end the conflict and return to negotiations.