A senior Sudanese minister has said that Khartoum will not negotiate or enter into dialogue with South Sudan until the issue of Juba's aggression in Heglig is resolved. Dr. Amin Hassan Omar insisted that the territorial integrity of Sudan must be maintained by the withdrawal of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) and its forces from the border region.
In an exclusive statement to Quds Press, Dr. Omar denied that the presence of Khartoum's presidential adviser, Mustafa Osman Ismail, in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, is part of a mediation process with Juba. "Just now, nothing is louder than the language of the battles," he said, "and we cannot talk about any peaceful solution. That can only come about after we free our land from the SPLM forces." He claimed that Ismail's visit to Addis Ababa falls within the framework of the African Union's efforts for the period after Heglig is liberated.
Omar added that Khartoum appreciates Egypt's stand on mediation with Juba and knows the nature of the historical and strategic relations between the two countries. "But we made it clear to Cairo that the situation does not require mediation; it requires a response to the South's aggression."
Although he described the Arab and African positions on the crisis between Khartoum and Juba as "positive", he stressed that this is not enough. "In Heglig we are witnessing open aggression by the South, so we need to have more than simple verbal condemnation."
Dr. Omar acknowledged the role of Israel and America in the war in southern Sudan. "Israel's role in the south is no secret," he said. "We know that the Zionist government and its supporters have been working to change the regime in Khartoum because it does not serve its interests and won't recognise Israel." With regards to the US, he added that there are American groups taking a direct role through arming and supplying the SPLM and that there are groups supporting the South Sudan government with intelligence. "This is obvious to us and to the official observers," he said.