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.

 

US admits IS most dangerous terror group it faced in recent years

Europe launches fresh UN bid to end Gaza conflict

Tougher penalties as UAE updates counter-terrorism law

Iraq Kurds launch offensive to retake Jalawla from IS

British jihadists on forefront on IS propaganda

Hammond: Britain will not work with Assad to combat IS

Gunmen open fire at Iraqi worshippers during Friday prayers

Abbas holds talks with Meshaal for second day

33 killed in fatal Egypt resort coach collision

Abbas holds talks with Meshaal in Doha

Iraq Kurds face real challenges in fight against IS jihadists

Death toll in Syria war tops 180,000

France delivered arms to Syrian rebels 'a few months ago'

US reveals failed operation to rescue American hostages in Syria

Somali journalists face trial for ‘violence incitement’

Iran asks West: What is our reward for help against IS jihadists?

Turkey ruling party meets to agree Davutoglu as PM

Kuwait nabs suspected Al-Nusra Front financier

Obama demands world action against jihadist ‘cancer’

Three senior Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades commanders killed in Gaza

Hamas armed wing declares end to truce talks in Cairo

Tribal clashes kill dozens of people in troubled Darfur

Dubai real estate giant to repay debt four years ahead

Egypt hopes power cuts could ease next week

Jihadist beheading of US journalist sparks worldwide revulsion

Iran provides ‘advice’ to Kurds fighting IS jihadists in Iraq

Power cuts and petrol shortages: Life grows increasingly difficult in Libya

Suspected attack by Kurdish rebels kills one Turkish soldier

UN launches huge aid operation in northern Iraq

Israel pounds Gaza as mourners cry ‘revenge’

Outgoing first lady breaks silence on ‘falsehoods’ against Turkey President

Ex CIA boss: journalist's killing 'first IS terrorist attack against US

Scores of armed Yemen rebels boost positions in capital

Sinai jihadists punish supporters of Egypt army with decapitation

Germany ready to support Iraq Kurds in battle against ‘barbaric’ IS

Iran’s 'reformist' science minister sacked

Turkey assures Ocalan Kurdish peace process will press ahead

Hollande: international situation ‘most serious’ since 2001

Israeli minister: ‘Deif deserves to die’

German minister accuses Qatar of financing IS

US hits back at criticism of Ferguson racial unrest

Jihadists to US: stop air strikes or we will behead second reporter

Temporary Gaza ceasefire goes up in smoke

Islamic State in Syria: Not few brainwashed people but whole army

Egypt to US: Show us how you deal with unrest in Ferguson