The visit by the Northern leader who presided over the slaughter of 2 million of his countrymen during the north-south Civil War of Sudan has got to be about something. The official story goes like this:
"The preferred choice for us is unity but in the end we will respect the choice of the southern citizens," Bashir said in a speech to southern officials. "One would be sad that Sudan has split but also pleased because we witnessed peace."I'm not buying it.
Bashir appeared visibly resigned in contrast to his usual upbeat rhetoric, in a visit seen as a farewell to the south and to the title of Africa's largest country by area.
Accepting that the result is likely to be secession, Bashir said he would come and join in the celebrations after the vote.
"Even after the southern state is born we are ready in the Khartoum government to offer any technical or logistical support and training or advice -- we are ready to help."
This vile fellow has proven a master of using inter-tribal rivalries and other divisions to constantly sow infighting between those that oppose him. It would simply be a volte-face of epic proportions for him to accept the obvious and concede the virtually-certain independence for South Sudan that this weekend's referendum will bring.
If there is anything like a halfway competent Intelligence advisor to the Government of Autonomous South Sudan right now, they should be combing over a list of every single person that met with any part of the al-Bashir entourage ...down to the hired help at hotels and restaurants... looking for any sign of the all-important meeting-of-allegiance that an al-Bashir loyalist would want before signing on to a renewed campaign against South Sudan. It might not have happened; a really competent al-Bashir organization would have gotten such done in secret in the North when no one was watching. But better to be safe than sorry.
I'll just leave this for now with this last quote from the article cited above:
One woman, a Juba resident who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal, said, "next time he comes we can arrest him".Yes, yes, you can and we'll all be grateful.