Sudan’s Bashir says no talks as new air raids hit South


Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said Monday there will be no more talks with South Sudan, as fresh Sudanese air raids dashed South Sudanese hopes for an end to weeks of fighting.
“No negotiation with those people,” Bashir said of the South Sudanese regime, which he earlier described as an “insect” that must be eliminated.
“Our talks with them were with guns and bullets,” he told soldiers in the main oil region of Heglig, which the South occupied for 10 days.
On Friday, Bashir and Defence Minister Abdelrahim Mohammed Hussein — both wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in Sudan’s Darfur region — declared the army had forced Southern soldiers out of Heglig.
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir had already announced that his forces would leave under “an orderly withdrawal”. His army said the pullout was completed on Sunday.
Despite the end of the occupation, the governor of South Sudan’s Unity State, Taban Deng, said Sudanese bombs fell on a key bridge and a market, killing at least two children in the state capital Bentiu on Monday.
The bombs prompted heavy bursts of gunfire from Southern soldiers hoping to shoot down Khartoum’s warplanes, said an AFP correspondent who was 50 metres (yards) from where the ordnance hit.
In the market, stalls were on fire and large plumes of grey smoke rose high into the air, as screaming civilians ran in panic.
“They have been given orders to wipe us out, they have called us insects,” Deng said, referring to Bashir’s earlier speech.
“We have been pressured by the international community to pull out of Heglig and this is the consequence, we have brought the war to home,” Deng added.
There was no immediate comment from Khartoum but a foreign ministry statement on the “liberation of Heglig” said Sudan “stresses that the government of Sudan has not, and does not intend to attack the Republic of South Sudan”.
The continued fighting sparked anger in Bentiu.
“I’m fearing that even if we give them Heglig, there will still be a war,” said shopkeeper Suleiman Ibrahim Ali. “I’m not alone — everyone is fearing the Antonov (warplanes).”