South Sudan President Salva Kiir, left, opposition leader Dr. Lam Akol, center, and former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, right [Photos via Getty Images]
KHARTOUM – Sudan’s former Islamist leader, Omar al-Bashir, opposed Dr. Lam Akol’s election bid for president of the government of Southern Sudan in 2010 and so worked to ensure President Kiir was elected with an aim to exploit the inadequate education of the South Sudanese leader, according to a new footage
of a secret meeting broadcasted as a part of a TV documentary, “The Islamic Front: The Major Secrets”
by Al Arabiya
In the secret meeting of the National Islamic Front (NIF) held in Khartoum following the 2011 referendum, former President Omar al Bashir who came to power through a bloodless coup in 1989 said his government’s conviction, when they allowed President Kiir to rig elections in Southern Sudan in his favor in 2010, was that Dr. Lam Akol would not cooperate with them and would be hard to do business with.
Al-Bashir said his Islamist government was not in any position to accept that election for the President of the Government of Southern Sudan is won by someone rather than President Salva Kiir who was then his first deputy.
“Our conviction – despite Lam [Akol’s] relationship with us and their support for us – was that if Lam win election, he would not be able to govern South Sudan,” Al-Bashir said the meeting attended by senior members of the NIF and those working in his government.
“Secondly we would not be able to cooperate and do business with him. That’s why we decided to endorse Salva [Kiir] because we believed he was the only person we would be able to cooperate and do business with for the remaining part of the interim period,” he added.
Al-Bashir further highlighted in that meeting that Dr. Lam Akol who he said could not return to South Sudan would not be able to handle the oil-rich south asking at some point how he would government a country he couldn’t set foot in.
“Lam cannot even return to South Sudan, so how can he lead South Sudan?” he asked.
Destabilizing South Sudan
In a separate audio recorded following the 2012 Heglig crisis, Al-Bashir said Sudan’s Islamist government had no interest in the stability of South Sudan as well as in saving it from rebellions which rocked the country following the independence in 2011.
He said Sudan would work to ensure that the SPLM is removed from power in the South and vowed that such action was going to take place within a very short period of time.
“We don’t have any interest in saving the government of South Sudan [from rebels] and we will not work with the government of South Sudan unless the SPLM is gone,” he said.
“So, our [National Islamic Front] goal is to remove the SPLM in South Sudan. We will not discuss with them anything unless we are sure 100% that no aggression will come from South Sudan because any single barrel of crude oil exported from South Sudan, will be used to buy weapons. So, any single barrel of oil from South Sudan is a threat to our security,” he said.