Violence between Sudan and South Sudan is flaring up amid escalating rhetoric of war from Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court.
On Thursday, al-Bashir called for the liberation of South Sudan from its rulers, former rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). “We say that it has turned into a disease, a disease for us and for the South Sudanese citizens. The main goal should be liberation from these insects and to get rid of them once and for all, God willing,” al-Bashir said at a recent rally, quoted by the BBC.
Sudan launched four separate attacks on South Sudan in a 24 hour period this week, the Associated Press reports. A South Sudanese official told the BBC that 22 soldiers from both sides were killed in resulting skirmishes.
Since South Sudan seceded from Sudan in July 2011, tensions between the two countries have been on the rise due to disputes over the exact demarcation of their border, which lies in an oil rich region. Eight days ago, South Sudan seized the Heglig oil field, where ground assaults and air strikes were reported this week. Fighting also erupted in the Aweii region about 160 km to the west. On Tuesday, The UN Security Council discussed the possibility of imposing sanctions on both countries.