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JUBA - 28 Feb 2013

Former US envoy wants to arm South Sudan to fight Sudan

The former US Envoy to Sudan, Andrew Natsios, says that the United States should support the South Sudanese army with more advanced weaponry in order to fight Sudan: "It is time for the United States to make clear to Khartoum that should they persist in their stonewalling tactics, the U.S. government will increase military assistance to the Sudan People's Liberation Army, including providing them with advanced weapons which would change the balance of military power between Sudan and South Sudan."

The former envoy fears renewed war due to the weakness of the Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir who is facing health problems and leaving his executive powers in the hands of his generals.

Writing in the current edition of US News & World Report, Natsios blames the Sudanese army for provoking war: “Many of the generals reportedly believed that the rise to power of the Muslim Brotherhood (their natural allies) in Tunisia and Egypt, and the ouster of Muammar Gadhafi (enemy of the Bashir government) from power in Libya would rescue them in Sudan.”

But he also blames a hardline faction in South Sudan for supporting the shutdown of oil production believing that this would lead to the collapse of the Bashir government.

A solution is far from near, according to Natsios, with internal tensions still rising in Sudan: “The Bashir government, the ruling party, and the Sudanese military have little remaining public support, only the brutal secret police and a divided northern democratic opposition have prevented an uprising from unseating the Bashir government.”

Natsios says the dynamics in the violent clashes between Sudan and Sudan have changed: “The US position has been to act as a neutral mediator, which worked well when Bashir was running the country to get him to compromise, but now that the generals are calling the shots acting as a mediator has only empowered Bashir's generals to demand more Southern concessions.”

To read Andrew Natsios' full article, 'The Coming War in Sudan,' click here.