Updates (4/20): Uganda now says that it is prepared to help defend South Sudan in the case of invasion, which military analysts suggest makes that fight more than even (Washington Post). South Sudan is withdrawing from Heglig, the area I mention below (Times of India).
The conflict between Sudan and South Sudan is unfortunately developing rather quickly in a rather nasty direction. In my last post I suggested that South Sudan might have a claim to some of the moral high ground in the conflict, but recent events clearly muddy that picture. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called South Sudan’s seizure of an oilfield “illegal”:
I call on South Sudan to immediately withdraw forces from Heglig. This is an infringement on the sovereignty of Sudan and a clearly illegal act (Reuters)
Meanwhile, Bashir is firing up his rhetorical machine. He reportedly told a rally:
These people [South Sudan] don’t understand, and we will give them the final lesson by force. We will not give them an inch of our country, and whoever extends his hand on Sudan, we will cut it. (Reuters)
Over at The Economist, they captured an even more worrisome quote:
We say that it [South Sudan’s leadership] 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
As The Economist notes, one hopes that this is mostly just talk but the fighting that has already gone on suggests it could be more than that.