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Sudan to reform its Defence Industries System

March 18 - 2021 KHARTOUM
Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Jibril Ibrahim earlier this year (SUNA)
Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Jibril Ibrahim earlier this year (SUNA)

The Defence Industries System, one of Sudan's biggest military firms, announced plans to separate its civilian and military industries. Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Jibril Ibrahim called on the Defence Industries System to be transparent about its properties and transition plans to Sudanese people, for example by explaining that the civil side of the industry will pay taxes and engage with business like any private sector company.

The statement was made during a press conference in Khartoum following the visit of Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and other ministers to the Yarmouk Industrial Complex yesterday.

The Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism, Hamza Baloul, said that the Defence Industries System had submitted a proposal to divide the system into two directions: one concerned with the development of defence industries and another for the development of civil industries.

They also agreed to establish two councils. One council for economic development to supervise the civil industries of the system, which will be headed by the minister of industry and trade, and council for financial investments to observe the gradual transformation of the civil system into public shareholding companies, which is to be headed by the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.

The firm will this gradually hand over its civilian operations to the finance ministry, eventually converting it to a public shareholding company.

Jibril Ibrahim praised the competencies of the industrial sector and pointed towards the possibilities to benefit from the system’s competencies in strategic projects, such as the development of the petroleum sector, the railway system, and agriculture, and manufacturing.

Military reform

Different parties have called for the restructuring of the military and defence system in Sudan.

Last week, Journalist, writer, and editor El Haj Warrag warned that the size of the security and military forces is greater than the size of Sudan’s economy. He criticised the Constitutional Document for leaving the issue of security and military reform “to the same institutions”.

Earlier this year, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) called for urgent security and military reforms.

The Economic Committee of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) has warned that the 2021 National Budget will lead to economic collapse. According to the FFC Economic Committee, the defence and security budget should be reduced by at least 40 per cent.

At the moment, the revenues of gold mining and the taxes on companies owned by the military and the security apparatus are not included in the budget.

 


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