His long career has largely been defined by war. But to many, he is a peacemaker. He helped end one of the longest wars in Africa when his government negotiated the Comprehensive Peace Agreement with the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) in the south.
Now in the final days of implementing that agreement, Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese president, is facing the possibility of a split in his country.
"The division of the Sudan will be a painful process," says al-Bashir. "However, at the end of the day it is the ultimate right of the citizens of the south to decide whether to remain united, or to secede."
Al-Bashir discusses his government's struggle to provide development projects to the south in the hope of maintaining unity, troop build-ups on the north-south border by both militaries, the much-disputed Abyei region and the possible flare-up of war there.
From the Sudanese government withdrawing from the recent Doha peace talks to talks of al-Bashir's alleged role in corruption, Al Jazeera's Mohammed Adow talks to the president of Sudan.
This episode of Talk to Jazeera aired from Saturday, January 8, 2011.