First Published: 2012-11-09

 

Sudan leader: Israel enemy No 1

 

Bashir vows to respond to Israel’s alleged bombing of Yarmouk military factory in heart of Khartoum.

 

Middle East Online

By Abdelmoneim Abu Edris Ali - KHARTOUM

Back to his sharp-tongued public speeches

A tired but healthy-looking Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir appeared on television Thursday after a minor operation, calling Israel "enemy number one" in a return to his typical fiery rhetoric.

Bashir, 68, spoke standing at a lectern for about 15 minutes in what government-owned Blue Nile TV said was a broadcast recorded earlier in the day at Sudan's embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The president left hospital in the Saudi kingdom on Wednesday and was recovering there after a "successful small surgery," his second in less than four months. The operation followed a normal medical check connected to an infection in his vocal cords, official media reported.

Known for his sharp-tongued public speeches, Bashir had been relatively quiet in recent weeks, making his fewer orations more restrained.

"Israel is our enemy, our number one enemy, and we will continue calling Israel our enemy," he said in a voice which sounded normal.

The comments were his first about Israel since Khartoum accused the Jewish state of sending four radar-evading aircraft to strike the Yarmouk military factory in the heart of Khartoum at midnight on October 23.

Israel refused all comment on Khartoum's accusation.

But Israeli officials have expressed concern about arms smuggling through Sudan and have long accused Sudan of serving as a support base for militants of the Islamist Hamas movement which rules Gaza.

"After the Yarmouk incident many people were angry and asked, 'Why did this happen?', said Bashir, who smiled occasionally during his address.

To prevent another attack Sudan has two choices, he said. One is to normalise relations with Israel, which he vowed would never happen.

"The second choice is to have a technology that allows us to do an identical attack against Israel. I cannot say this is impossible. We are trying to have this technology."

After the Yarmouk compound exploded and burst into flames, speculation followed that Iranian weapons were stored or manufactured there.

Sudan denied Iran had any involvement in the factory.

Bashir also touched on the contested border region of Abyei.

The African Union's Peace and Security Council has given Sudan and South Sudan until December 5 to agree on the final status of Abyei, which Sudanese troops withdrew from in May to end a year-long occupation.

Ethiopian peacekeepers now control the area.

Abyei was to hold a referendum in January 2011 on whether it belonged with the north or South, but disagreement on who could vote stalled the ballot.

Bashir called Abyei a territory of the Misseriya, a nomadic Arab tribe who, he said, "host" the Ngok Dinka tribe. The Dinka fled Sudan's occupation but have begun returning.

"Abyei will continue as a part of Sudan and all Misseriya will participate in the Abyei referendum," Bashir said.

In late October, his press secretary denied rumours that the president was sick and said he underwent minor surgery during the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which was observed from mid-July to mid-August.

Bashir seized power in a 1989 military coup which overthrew a democratically elected government and established an Islamist regime.

He is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed in Sudan's far-western Darfur region where a rebellion began in 2003.

 

Islamic State ‘share in US weapons’ embarrasses Pentagon

Hundreds protest in Iran after horrendous acid attacks

Libya army scores small victory in Benghazi

Masdar to build first large-scale wind farm in GCC

Kasserine reaps bitter harvest from Tunisia revolution: Poverty and terrorism

Turkish woman arrested for stepping on Koran

Erdogan criticises US for airdrops on Kobane

Iraq schools provide shelter but late to open for classes

Syria air force shoots down two of three 'IS warplanes'

Egypt court rules on ‘Nasr City terror cell’

Fire from Egypt wounds two Israeli soldiers near border

By hook or by crook, settlers notch up property gains in East Jerusalem

Turkey envoy meets leader of parallel government in Libya

Israel arrests seven Palestinian fishermen off northern Gaza

Khamenei to Abadi: Iraq can beat 'Islamic State' without foreign troops

Saudi special court rules in cases of riots and terrorism

Only in Libya: Government calls for civil disobedience

Iraq Kurds set to vote on deployment of Peshmerga forces to Syria

Alderton: Morocco unrivalled business gateway to sub-Saharan Africa

Protests over IS turn Istanbul University into war zone

Turkey eyes stricter punishment against lawbreakers at protests

For Sudan President: Promises are something and re-election is something else

Iran returns Abadi to ‘house of obedience’

From traditional military to counterinsurgency force: Syria army grows more capable

South Sudan rivals accept 'responsibility' for civil war

British drones in Iraq also used for Syria surveillance

Turkey launches new wave of wire-tapping arrests

Rise of Shiite militias challenges government authority in Iraq

Syria Kurds show impressive resistance to ‘Islamic State’ in Kobane

Vote or boycott: Grim record of self-serving politicians puts off voters in Tunisia

Egypt universities tighten security to avoid new Islamist violence

Iran forces inside Iraq as Abadi rules out foreign ground intervention!

South Sudan rivals meet in new bid to end civil war

From Morocco into Spain: Crowd of African migrants charges to border fence

Deadly suicide attack targets Shiite mosque in central Baghdad

Turkey gives Iraq Peshmerga forces passage to Kobane

Israel to supply Egypt with natural gas despite sabotage

Kerry seeks help of Southeast Asia in anti-Islamic State push

Qaeda inflicts heavy losses on Huthi rebels in central Yemen

US carries out first weapon airdrops to Kurd fighters near Kobane

Benghazi violence kills 75 people in five days

Morocco accuses Algeria of firing on civilians across border

Australia finalises deal for deployment of Special Forces to Iraq

Tunisia calls on Libya authorities to locate missing journalists

Turkey rejects calls to arm ‘terrorist’ Kurdish party in Syria