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Al Bashir promises to ‘rebuild the Sudan Armed Forces’

March 8 - 2018 EL OBEID
Sudan's President Omar Al Bashir in the uniform of Field Marshal as Commander-in-Chief of the Sudan Armed Forces (File Photo)
Sudan's President Omar Al Bashir in the uniform of Field Marshal as Commander-in-Chief of the Sudan Armed Forces (File Photo)

The President of Sudan, Omar Al Bashir, has promised ‘to re-build the Sudanese Armed Forces and to equip them with up-to-date technologies’. He also undertook to raise army salaries.

Speaking today at the inauguration the Fifth Infantry Division Officer’s Club in El Obeid, capital of North Kordofan, Al Bashir said: “The armed forces have the most advanced military factories in the region and weapons and ammunition used by the army are made by Sudanese factories,” the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reports.

Speaking in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Sudan Armed Forces, Al Bashir added that “Sudan has been enjoying a real peace thanks to the efforts of the military.

“We will work to make salaries of members of the army be the highest in the country,” he said, pointing to “huge sacrifices by members of the armed forces in maintaining the security and stability amid plots being interwoven against Sudan’s stability and security.”

Arms embargo

In July 2004 UN Security Council resolution 1556 imposed an open-ended arms embargo on all non-governmental entities and individuals operating in North Darfur, South Darfur, and West Darfur in reaction to the ongoing human rights abuses and deteriorating humanitarian situation in the region.

The arms embargo was strengthened by subsequent UN Security Council resolution 1591 (March 2005) however UN panels of experts repeatedly observed military equipment in Darfur for which there was good reason to assume that it was delivered to Sudan after that date.

In October 2010 Security Council resolution 1945 further strengthened the arms embargo by deciding that all States shall ensure that any sale or supply of arms and related materiel to Sudan not prohibited by resolutions 1556 and 1591, are made conditional upon the necessary end user documentation so that States may ascertain that any such sale or supply is conducted consistent with the measures imposed by those resolutions.

Addis meeting

The office of the UN Secretary-General fielded critical questions regarding a confirmed meeting between Antonio Guterres and Al Bashir occurred in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on the periphery of the African Union summit in late January. At the daily press briefing in New York on January 31, UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters that it occurred out of “operational necessity”, and that “the rules of procedures were followed” in terms of informing the ICC prosecution of such a meeting.

US sanctions

In October 2017, the USA issued a decision to lift a 20-year trade embargo on Sudan, however the decision leaves other sanctions in place for the time being, including those against individuals with arrest warrants related to atrocities committed during the conflict in Darfur. And it does not remove Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Yemen

In addition to those deployed internally, Sudan has had hundreds of troops in Yemen since 2015 to bolster the mostly Gulf Arab alliance fighting the Iran-allied Houthi movement. The coalition includes the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Senegal and Sudan.

In April 2017, five Sudanese soldiers were killed when Yemeni forces backed by the coalition took control of a volcanic mountain on a road toward the Khalid bin al-Waleed military base, a key stronghold of the Houthis in southwestern Taiz province.

In June 2017, 17 Sudanese soldiers were killed and dozens more wounded at Midi of Hajjah province, in north-west Yemen.


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