Sudan’s President and international fugitive Omar al-Bashir has begun using victimage rhetoric – calling for an extermination of South Sudan government officials in his war mongering campaign against the newly formed nation.
Speaking at a rally in support of troops who hope to reclaim Heglig, one of Sudan’s most important oil producing areas, from South Sudanese troops, Bashir, on Wednesday, called the government of South Sudan, “insects” trying to destroy Sudan.
“Our main target from today is to liberate South Sudan’s citizens from the SPLM (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement). We call it an insect… trying to destroy Sudan and our main target from today is to eliminate this insect completely,” Bashir was quoted as saying.
Victimage rhetoric, which includes the dehumanisation of the Oriental-other subsequently excludes the Oriental-other from the moral code that binds a people, making it justly okay to attack them, in an-all-out war or genocide.
Prior to the attack of Japan during World War II, the Japanese were described as pests by the allied forces. During the Holocaust, the Jews were referred to as rats by Nazi Germany before the genocide. Prior to the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the Tutsis were referred to as cockroaches by the Hutus.
Bashir threatened to overthrow the South Sudan’s “insect” government whose troops seized the Heglig oil region nine days ago. Genocides, atrocities and wars have been carried out as a subsequent response to victimage rhetoric against the oriental-other.
However world powers are working to pull the rivals from the brink of an all-out war. “In a few hours you are going to listen to good news from your brothers in Heglig. Heglig will not be the end. The end will be in Juba (the South’s capital),” Bashir said.
The 3,000 youths who made up Bashir’s audience were dressed in military gear and sang songs about holy war. Clashes broke out last month in the Heglig area and intensified last week with waves of aerial bombardment hitting the South.
Air strikes have killed several South Sudanese civilians and earlier this week damaged a UN peacekeeping camp in the South’s Unity State. UN, United States and the European Union have criticised the South’s occupation of the oil field, equally denouncing Sudanese air strikes against the South. On Tuesday, the UN Security Council discussed possible sanctions against Sudan and South Sudan in a bid to halt a wider war.
Now there are widespread fears that the fighting will spread following Bashir’s victimage rhetoric.