The oil-rich border region between Sudan and the new Republic of South Sudan is becoming a battle zone, with reports of burning tanks and plumes of smoke dotting the landscape.
High numbers of fatalities also have been reported, and the catalyst for the bloodshed has been identified as oil money.
Press and intelligence reports from the region say that South Sudan claims the Khartoum regime tried to build an illegal oil pipeline across Sudan’s border into South Sudan’s oil fields.
There have been reports that money and weapons also are pouring into both Sudan and the recently independent south, which have been in conflict for decades because of the Muslim government’s war on the mostly Christian and animist population in the south..
International human rights groups believe Sudan is trying to incite a renewed conflict. International Christian Concern’s Africa analyst Jonathan Racho said that Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir wants to fan the flames of war.
“The government of Sudan wants to stoke violence in the border regions with the south Sudan. Their ultimate goal is to retake oil producing regions from the hands of south Sudanese,” Racho said.
A former CIA station chief who has asked not to be named confirmed that al-Bashir’s interest in the south is connected to the south’s natural resources.
“Basically, Bashir could care less about the South Sudan and its people, except for the oil in the border regions,” the former CIA officer said.
The former station chief said that Bashir’s may be trying to recapture the oil fields.
“This is what he’s planning to retake I think. Without that oil South Sudan is really just another dirt-poor, poverty-stricken African hell-hole. Frankly I was surprised when [Bashir] accepted independence for the region, so that indicates he had some sort of plan then,” the former station chief said.
The station chief said Bashir has some major supporters.
“He has the full support of both the Chinese communists and the Muslim states,” the former CIA officer said.
The former CIA officer said that South Sudan’s supply line isn’t as reliable.
“South Sudan has the dubious ‘support’ of the U.S. and a little more help from Israel. But they really need a couple of billion to build their own pipeline to get their oil out of the country across Ethiopia or Kenya,” the former station chief said.
A second military analyst who has asked not to be named confirmed that Bashir’s regime is after the oil revenue and found a way to get it.
“Sudan was stealing about half of south Sudan’s oil exports for transit ‘fees’ to the port as it went through,” the military analyst said.
“South Sudan halted oil exports until a pipeline through Kenya is completed next year. This move leaves Sudan perilously short of money,” the analyst said.
The government of Sudan has not responded to WND’s request for an interview.
WND reported last week that while Bashir may be after the oil, the Sudanese strongman has another goal in mind – ethnic cleansing.
Bashir says he wants to purify Sudan by driving out the country’s remaining Christians, and aid workers in the Nuba Mountains say that he has begun strategic demonstrations of air power to systematically drive people into the territory of the newly independent South Sudan.
Racho urges Americans act to put pressure on Sudan’s government.
“We urge the international community to step up its pressure on Sudan to stop its violent activities. We are extremely concerned by the escalation of violence on the border regions and the continuous bombing campaign by the government of Sudan,” Racho said.