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3 avril 2015 5 03 /04 /avril /2015 07:45
South African continental peacekeeping deployments extended for another year


01 April 2015 by Kim Helfrich - defenceWeb


President Jacob Zuma wearing his SA National Defence Force (SANDF) commander-in-chief hat has committed South Africa to more than R1,4 billion in expenditure over the next 12 months on three separate out-of-country military deployments.


None of the three – to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Sudan and in the Mozambique Channel – are new. All three see South African airmen, medics, sailors and soldiers stand alongside uniformed counterparts from Africa and other parts on the world in either peace support or peacekeeping missions (DRC and Sudan) and keeping territorial waters safe from pirates (Mozambique).


Zuma yesterday (March 31) informed Parliament of the “extended employment of troops” according to a statement issued by the Presidency.


A total of 1,388 SANDF members will find themselves in the DRC between now and March 31 next year serving “in fulfilment of international obligations of the Republic of South Africa towards the United Nations”. The Presidential statement indicates all will be part of the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB), operating under the MONUSCO umbrella in the strife-torn central African country. According to the UN there are currently 1,322 uniformed South Africans in the overall MONUSCO mission.


The cost of the DRC deployment is R909,687,562.


The SANDF will between now and March 31 next year ensure 850 SANDF members find themselves in Darfur, Sudan, as part of the hybrid AU/UN UNAMID force. This deployment is also “in fulfilment of international obligations” and will cost R369,079,895 for the 12 months.


South Africa’s third and final military commitment outside own borders is the Southern African Development community (SADC) counter-piracy tasking Operation Copper.


“Two hundred and 20 members of the SANDF were employed to monitor and deter piracy and other related illegal maritime activities along the Southern African coast of the Indian Ocean. They were employed for the period for the period April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015 and the employment has now been extended to March 31, 2016,” the statement said.


South Africa is the lead country in this deployment supplying a naval platform as well as aerial support and the associated manpower. The next 12 months of Operation Copper cost R 127,027,773.


The UN mission in the DRC – MONUSCO - is the largest of its 16 peacekeeping missions internationally with troop, police and military expert contributions coming from 55 countries. There are currently 21,067 of these in the DRC at present according to the latest UN statistics. Countries are literally an A (Algeria) to Z (Zambia).


In Sudan, South Africans find themselves alongside soldiers, police and military experts from 43 other countries in a total combined AU/UN force of 15,863. UN statistics indicate there are currently 783 South African soldiers in the country.

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2 avril 2015 4 02 /04 /avril /2015 07:30
President: Sudan Launches Strikes in Yemen


April 1, 2015 By Awad Mustafa – Defense News


ABU DHABI — Sudanese Air Force precision bombers have participated in coalition operations in Yemen, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir told crowds in a rally in the western city of Zalingey, Sudan, on Wednesday.


According to a statement released by the Sudanese Armed Forces, al-Bashir saluted Air Force service members on their efforts to support operation Decisive Storm and that they are bombing Houthi targets and patrolling the Yemeni skies.


Sudan's participation with four Su-24 "Fencer" supersonic precision bomber aircraft was confirmed on Tuesday as images of the planes prepped on the tarmac of the King Khalid Air Force Base appeared in videos released by the coalition command.


The statement released Wednesday by the Sudanese Armed Forces, however, did not specify the type of mission the Fencers conducted.


Coalition spokesman Brig. Gen. Ahmad al-Assiri Wednesday did not confirm or deny the participation of the Sudanese Air Force in strikes. Yet coalition member United Arab Emirates stated on its news agency WAM that it participated in sorties targeting Houthi groupings in Yemen on Tuesday.


The Sudanese Air Force acquired 12 Su-24 aircraft from Belarus in 2013, according to the Satellite Sentinel Project, which follows development of Sudanese armed forces operations in Darfur.


The aircraft have been modified to the Su-24M export model by Belarus, according to the end-user certificate issued, and are fitted with two external fuel pods that would extend the range and loiter time over a target area.


The operational range of the Fencer is a little over 600 kilometers.

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18 mars 2015 3 18 /03 /mars /2015 17:45
An Ottokar Cobra

An Ottokar Cobra


18 March 2015 by defenceWeb


African arms imports increased by 45 per cent between the periods 2005–2009 to 2010–14, with Algeria importing the most during this period, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has revealed in an analysis of the global arms trade.


Between 2010 and 2014, Africa accounted for 9 per cent of all arms exports, measured by volume. The three largest importers in Africa in 2010–14 were Algeria (30 per cent of imports), Morocco (26 per cent) and Sudan (6 per cent).


States in sub-Saharan Africa received 42 per cent of imports by African states. Sudan was the largest and Uganda the second largest importer in the subregion, accounting for, respectively, 15 per cent and 14 per cent of the subregional total, according to SIPRI.


Between 2005–2009 and 2010–14 imports by Algeria increased by 3 per cent; imports by its regional rival Morocco increased elevenfold. In 2014, major deliveries to Algeria included a helicopter carrier from Italy, the last batch of 48 air defence systems from Russia and an estimated 50 self-propelled guns from China; meanwhile, Morocco received a frigate from France. Algeria, unlike Morocco, has several major outstanding arms orders. These include orders placed in 2014 for two Kilo submarines and 42 Mi-28/Mi-26 helicopters from Russia and 926 Fuchs APCs from Germany. The orders for helicopters and APCs appear partly related to the Algerian Government’s conflict with rebel groups.


Nigeria and Cameroon received weapons from several suppliers to fulfil their urgent demand for weapons to fight against the militant Islamist group Boko Haram. Taken together, in 2014, both countries ordered and received helicopters from China and Russia, and armoured vehicles from China, Czech Republic, South Africa and Ukraine. Canadian companies also supplied armoured vehicles from production lines based in Nigeria and the UAE, SIPRI reports.


Elsewhere in the world, SIPRI noted that arms imports to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states increased by 71 per cent from 2005–2009 to 2010–14, accounting for 54 per cent of imports to the Middle East in the latter period. Saudi Arabia rose to become the second largest importer of major weapons worldwide in 2010–14, increasing the volume of its arms imports four times compared to 2005–2009. The top six importers are India, Saudi Arabia, China, the UAE, Pakistan and Australia.


“Mainly with arms from the USA and Europe, the GCC states have rapidly expanded and modernized their militaries”, said Pieter Wezeman, Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme. “The GCC states, along with Egypt, Iraq, Israel and Turkey in the wider Middle East, are scheduled to receive further large orders of major arms in the coming years.”


Asian arms imports continue to increase and of the top 10 largest importers of major weapons during the 5-year period 2010–14, five are in Asia: India (15 per cent of global arms imports), China (5 per cent), Pakistan (4 per cent), South Korea (3 per cent) and Singapore (3 per cent). These five countries accounted for 30 per cent of the total volume of arms imports worldwide. India accounted for 34 per cent of the volume of arms imports to Asia, more than three times as much as China. China’s arms imports actually decreased by 42 per cent between 2005–2009 and 2010–14, SIPRI data reveals.


“Enabled by continued economic growth and driven by high threat perceptions, Asian countries continue to expand their military capabilities with an emphasis on maritime assets”, said Siemon Wezeman, Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme. “Asian countries generally still depend on imports of major weapons, which have strongly increased and will remain high in the near future.”


Other notable developments highlighted by SIPRI are that European arms imports decreased by 36 per cent between 2005–2009 to 2010–14, although the Institute cautioned that developments in Ukraine and Russia may counter this trend after 2014 with several states bordering Russia increasing their arms imports.


SIPRI also pointed out that arms imports by Azerbaijan increased by 249 per cent between 2005–2009 and 2010–14; to fight ISIS, Iraq received arms from countries as diverse as Iran, Russia and the USA in 2014; and deliveries and orders for ballistic missile defence systems increased significantly in 2010–14, notably in the Gulf and North East Asia.




The United States remains the lead global arms exporter, followed by Russia, China, Germany and France. Together, they accounted for 74 per cent of the volume of arms exports. Overall, the volume of international transfers of major conventional weapons grew by 16 per cent between 2005–2009 and 2010–14, SIPRI said.


The volume of US exports of major weapons rose by 23 per cent between 2005–2009 and 2010–14. The USA’s share of the volume of international arms exports was 31 per cent in 2010–14, compared with 27 per cent for Russia.


“The USA has long seen arms exports as a major foreign policy and security tool, but in recent years exports are increasingly needed to help the US arms industry maintain production levels at a time of decreasing US military expenditure”, said Dr Aude Fleurant, Director of the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme.


Russian exports of major weapons increased by 37 per cent between 2005–2009 and 2010–14. During the same period, Chinese exports of major arms increased by 143 per cent, making it the third largest supplier in 2010–14, displacing Germany in the number three spot, however still significantly behind the USA and Russia.


China supplied major arms to 35 states in 2010–14. A significant percentage (just over 68 per cent) of Chinese exports went to three countries: Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar. China also exported major arms to 18 African states. Examples of China’s increasing global presence as an arms supplier in 2010–14 included deals with Venezuela for armoured vehicles and transport and trainer aircraft, with Algeria for three frigates, with Indonesia for the supply of hundreds of anti-ship missiles and with Nigeria for the supply of a number of unmanned combat aerial vehicles, according to SIPRI.


Germany’s share of the global arms market has been decreasing (by 43 per cent between 2005–2009 and 2010–14) according to SIPRI, but nevertheless the country has received some major contracts. African orders in 2014 included two Type 209 submarines for Egypt and 926 Fuchs armoured personnel carriers for Algeria.


France exported a substantial amount of hardware to Africa – between 2010 and 2014 21 per cent of its exports went to the continent. French eff orts to increase arms exports were boosted by a deal negotiated in 2014 and signed in early 2015 with Egypt for the delivery of 24 Rafale combat aircraft and one FREMM frigate.

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8 mars 2015 7 08 /03 /mars /2015 12:30
Procurement: Sudan Can Get You Whatever You Need


March 6, 2015: Strategy Page


Over the last decade a growing number of weapons used by African rebels, warlords and nations under arms embargoes have been traced to Sudan. A lot of ammunition (especially grenades and bullets for AK-47s) has been made in Sudanese factories and shipped all over Africa, to anyone who could pay or whose goals coincided with those of Sudan. Many more weapons were from China and Iran but shipped via Sudan. A lot of this stuff ended up in Gaza. Some of this stuff made headlines when Israel intercepted shiploads of it being smuggled into Gaza and put the captured material on display for the world to sea. Sudan denies everything but has become notable as the only nation on the planet run by a man who is an indicted war criminal.


Sudan was also found to be the source of weapons purchased by Qatar and delivered by Sudan to rebels in Syria. This gives Sudan the distinction of being an ally and arms distributor for Iran as well as some Arab nations on the other side of the Persian Gulf who are threatened by Iranian aggression.


Israel always saw this Sudanese effort as a direct threat and has attacked Sudan several times in an effort to stop or slow down the arms smuggling going through Sudan. Thus in late 2012 Sudan reported that one of their ammunition factories blew up and blamed an Israeli air raid. Many Sudanese believe the bombed factory actually belonged to Iran. Sudan says they have proof it was an Israeli attack, in the form of fragments of Israeli missiles. Israeli officials refused to comment. Earlier in 2012 a local businessman in Port Sudan, Sudan died when his vehicle exploded. The dead man turned out to be a major arms smuggler (to Egypt and eventually Gaza) and the Sudanese government blamed his death on Israel. Sudan denies that it allows weapons to be smuggled into Egypt, but the Egyptian government believes otherwise. Israel denied any involvement with the Port Sudan explosion, as well as with similar events in the past. Egypt has since made it more difficult for Sudanese weapons to travel through Egypt.


Israel has been attacking the Iranian weapons pipeline via Sudan since at least 2008. The 2012 attack was documented by subsequent satellite photos showing large craters, like those made by large (one ton and half ton) bombs. The Israelis were apparently aiming for specific targets, like a number of shipping containers that had recently arrived from Iran. Two buildings in the factory compound were destroyed and 21 structures damaged. Not only are the Israelis bombing Sudan, but they are getting good information about what is where and when. This sort of thing has been going on for some time.


For example, in January 2009, Israel sent warplanes down the Red Sea to attack a convoy of trucks, near the Egyptian border in Sudan, carrying Iranian long range rockets destined for Gaza. Iran brings the rockets (and other weapons) in through Port Sudan, and then trucks them to Egypt. Sudan does not interfere. Egypt is not a friend of Iran but the border police can be bribed. The 2009 attack destroyed 17 truckloads of weapons and killed the 39 drivers. Since then the smugglers resorted to individual trucks and the use of small boats moving up the Red Sea coast.


In a 2011 incident a car travelling north, from Sudan towards Egypt, exploded. One of the dead was a Hamas official. Sudan blamed Israel for this, claiming that an Israeli aircraft must have fired a missile. No proof was offered, other than fragments from a Hellfire missile. But these could have been obtained from any number of Islamic terror groups who have lost members to Hellfire attacks. The Sudanese claimed that a U.S. AH-64 Apache helicopter gunship was used for the attack. The helicopter was said to have flown in from the sea.


In November and December 2011, Israeli aircraft bombed truck convoys carrying weapons from Sudan to Egypt. The Sudanese military refused to admit that Israeli aircraft were operating over northern Sudan but the Sudanese don't really have the means to prevent it.


In 2012 Israel and the newly independent South Sudan became allies, an arrangement sealed by a visit by the South Sudan president to Israel. For years Israel quietly aided the South Sudan rebels, who are largely Christians or animists. In 2011 South Sudan became a separate state, and Israeli aid, via Kenya, increased as a result. Israeli has long been on good terms with Kenya and most non-Moslem African nations. Israel and non-Moslem African nations have a common enemy in Islam, and especially radical Islam. As Islamic radicals have become more active in the past four decades, these alliances with Israel have become more popular in Africa.


Sudanese weapons and ammunition were recently found in use by Moslem rebels in the Central African Republic and by Moslem rebels in other nations all the way to the Atlantic coast. Islamic terrorists in Somalia have often been caught using Sudanese made ammunition. Libyans complain of Sudanese aircraft flying in with tons of munitions on a regular basis. These transports have been seen all over Africa for years and the cargo was often weapons or ammunition. While the Israeli attacks on Sudanese weapons movements gets a lot of attention, all these other Sundanese weapons smuggling activities do not. Overall Sudan has become a major source of weapons for terrorists and others who mean to do bad things to a lot of people. Sudan, as always, denies all and if the evidence is too compelling blames that on Israel.

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5 mars 2015 4 05 /03 /mars /2015 08:45
La « French Touch » des blindés soudanais


3 mars, 2015 Pierre Brassart - FOB


Lors du salon IDEX 2015, qui s’est tenu récemment à Abu Dhabi, l’industrie de défense soudanaise était venue en masse afin de présenter tous ses produits. Pour l’essentiel, ceux-ci se résument à des copies d’armement russe, chinois ou iraniens (RPG, AK, SPG-9, etc…). Mais un véhicule a particulièrement piqué notre curiosité.


Parmi les engins présents se trouvaient une copie d’un BMP-2 russe équipé, dans le compartiment arrière, d’un mortier. En examinant la face arrière de l’engin, nous nous sommes rendus compte que ce véhicule soudanais basé sur un design russe était équipé d’un phare « made in France ».


La « French Touch » des blindés soudanais

En effet, les établissements Gabriel fournissent des phares et autres équipements éléctroniques depuis des dizaines d’années, notamment à des sociétés françaises. On en retrouvait, entre autres, sur les AML 60 et 90, les Panhard M3, etc., véhicules reçus par le Soudan dans les années 80.


Il est curieux de retrouver ce type d’équipement sur un des produits phares du stand soudanais. L’industrie soudanaise serait-elle incapable de fabriquer ses propres phares au point de devoir canibaliser ses anciens véhicules?

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26 février 2015 4 26 /02 /février /2015 17:45
Sudan unveils 122 mm self-propelled howitzer, armoured vehicles at IDEX


26 February 2015 by defenceWeb


The Military Industry Corporation (MIC) Khalifa-1 122 mm self-propelled howitzer has made its international show debut at IDEX 2015 in Abu Dhabi, along with several other products.


The weapon is already in service with Sudan’s army. It comprises a 6x6 Kamaz 43118 truck with a protected four-door cab for the five crew and a 122 mm D-30 howitzer on the back of the vehicle. The normally towed howitzer is transplanted onto the vehicle, and as such is manually traversed (40 degrees left and right). Elevation is minus five to plus 70 degrees, or 15 to 70 degrees above the cabin.


Hydraulically lowered stabilisers are used to anchor the vehicle when firing and the steel sides are hydraulically folded down in order to give access to artillery shells – 45 projectiles and charges are carried. Range is around 17 km and maximum firing rate is eight rounds per minute. The 20 500 kg vehicle can be readied for firing within 90 seconds. The vehicle’s top speed is around 90 km/h.


The vehicle can be fitted with the Karary IGZ01 fire control system, which includes a laser range finder, GPS, telecommunications device etc.


The MIC displayed some of its other hardware at IDEX 2015, such as the 120 mm mortar carrier variant of its Khatim-2 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), a mobile version of the Taka 107 mm multiple rocket launcher, the Nimr long-range patrol vehicle, unarmoured Tamal tactical vehicle and Sarsar-2 armoured reconnaissance vehicle. The Khatim-2 is loosely based on the BMP-2 via the Iranian Boraq-2 IFV.


The Sarsar-2 is based on a 1.2 ton KIA chassis but fitted with armour able to withstand 7.62x51 mm rounds. The vehicle weights 5.5 tons. Other items displayed at IDEX 2015 included the Ateed remote weapon station, apparently based on the Iranian ARIO-H762 and the Sarib anti-tank guided missile (apparently based on the Chinese HJ-8). The Ateed can operate either a 12.7 mm or 7.62 mm machinegun and uses a high resolution day camera, laser range finder and thermal imager. A DShK 12.7 mm heavy machinegun was mounted on the Ateed at IDEX 2015.


Sudan’s President Omar Al Bashir attended the IDEX opening ceremony on Sunday in his first official visit to the United Arab Emirates since 2008. He arrived with an 11-member delegation, comprised of Ministers of the Presidency, Defence, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Investments, Electricity, Minerals, Livestock and Fisheries, Labour, the director of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), and the head of police.


Since the 1990s Chinese, Russian and Iranian companies have helped Sudan develop its domestic military industry after an international arms embargo placed on the country. The Military Industry Corporation was established in 1993 to manufacture weapons and equipment for the Sudanese military and is now marketing its products internationally. Products include main battle tanks (based on Chinese designs), small arms, recoilless rifles, mortars, rocket launchers, upgraded armoured vehicles, ammunition, electronics and uniforms.


The MIC has used Chinese hardware as the inspiration for many of its own products but the Sudanese military also uses a wide variety of Chinese weapons, such as the Type 96 main battle tank, HJ-8 and HJ-73D anti-tank missile, Type 56 and Type 81 rifles, CQ rifle, QJZ-89 12.7 mm machinegun, M99 12.7 mm sniper rifle, Type 80 machinegun, Type69-1 rocket propelled grenade, NP-42 pistol and the QLZ-87 automatic grenade launcher and recently selected the 5.56 mm QBZ-17 bullpup assault rifle to meet its future needs.

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25 février 2015 3 25 /02 /février /2015 17:30
Military Industry Corporation (MIC) présente son obusier automoteur Khalifa-1 à IDEX 2015

Military Industry Corporation (MIC) présente son obusier automoteur Khalifa-1 à IDEX 2015


24 février, 2015 Nathan Gain (FOB)


De par son ampleur, la diversité des entreprises présentes et des produits mis en avant, l’International Defence Exhibition (IDEX), salon de défense bi-annuel devenu incontournable, réserve à chaque édition son lot de surprises.


L’édition 2015 n’a pas dérogé à la règle, apportant son lot de nouveautés, certaines étant parfois issues de nations plutôt « discrètes ». Relativement peu présent au sein de ce genre d’évènement, le Soudan est l’un de ces pays désormais capables de déployer un panel de nouveautés propre à surprendre jusqu’aux spécialistes les plus avertis. Au travers de l’importante « Military Industry Corporation » (MIC-Sudan), consortium national d’entreprises fondé en 1993, le Soudan crée et manufacture un vaste ensemble de produits et services, allant de la simple arme de poing au véhicule de combat d’infanterie.


Véritable vitrine de l’industrie soudanaise, la « Military Industry Corporation », basée à Karthoum, a traversé la mer Rouge avec deux produits majeurs : l’obusier automoteur de 122mm Khalifa-1 et le véhicule de reconnaissance Sarsar-2. Selon un délégué soudanais, tous deux sont déjà en service au sein de l’armée soudanaise.


Le Khalifa-1 est le résultat du mariage entre un canon de 122 mm D-30 et un chassis Kamaz 43118 6×6 redessiné, le tout pour une masse totale dépassant les 20 tonnes. Doté d’un équipage de 5 hommes, le Khalifa-1, selon MIC, est capable d’assurer une cadence de tir maximale allant jusqu’à 8 obus tirés à la minute (avec un premier obus déjà chargé, détail non négligeable). Capable d’atteindre une cible dans un rayon maximal de 17 km, le Khalifa-1 serait également en mesure de tirer son premier obus ou d’être prêt au redéploiement en un maximum d’une 1min30. Enfin, le Khalifa-1 est également équipé d’un système de contrôle de tir Karary IGZ01, composé d’un poste d’observation et d’un poste de commandement. De quoi rivaliser avec le Caesar ? D’après les représentants soudanais, cela ne fait aucun doute. Qu’importe la réponse, la question a au moins le mérite d’être posée.


Dans une toute autre catégorie, MIC met également l’accent un panel de véhicules légers, tel le véhicule de reconnaissance Sarsar-2. Basé sur un châssis KIA, le Sarsar-2 autorise le transport d’une escouade de 11 soldats (équipage compris), le tout protégé par un blindage de niveau BR6. Le moteur, un D4DA à 4 cylindres en ligne, développe 139 chevaux et autorise une vitesse maximale de 80 km/h. Une écoutille de toit permet l’installation d’une mitrailleuse de calibre 12.7mm/14.5mm.


Précisons que le Sarsar-2 et le Khalifa-1 ne sont que deux systèmes d’arme parmi tant d’autres présentés par la délégation soudanaise, démontrant par là même l’importance de s’intéresser à certaines industries nationales aux qualités par trop insoupçonnées.

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3 décembre 2013 2 03 /12 /décembre /2013 17:45
African Military Profile: Sudan

03 December 2013 by Guy Martin - defenceWeb

Sudan’s large military has been re-equipping on a large scale over the last decade, acquiring strike aircraft, attack and transport helicopters, main battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles amongst others. The country believes a strong military is necessary to maintain a balance with South Sudan and fight rebels internally. Click here to find out more about the Sudanese Armed Forces.

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19 septembre 2013 4 19 /09 /septembre /2013 07:30
Iran-warships-sudan dec 2012

Iran-warships-sudan dec 2012

Sep. 18, 2013 Defense News (AFP)


KHARTOUM — Two Iranian warships have entered Sudan’s territorial waters and were heading to dock for “routine” fuelling, a spokesman of Sudanese army said on Wednesday.


“Two Iranian ships have entered our territorial waters, one of them is a destroyer and the other is a supplies vessel,” Col. Sawarmi Khaled Saad told AFP.


He said the vessels are stopping in Sudan for a “routine and regular visit” to get “supplies, food and water”.


In October, two Iranian navy vessels called at Port Sudan, followed by two more in December, in what Khartoum described as a “normal” port stop.


Israel considers the area of the Red Sea and east Sudan as a passage for arms smuggled to Islamist Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip.


Khartoum’s links with Iran came under scrutiny after Sudan accused Israel of being behind an Oct. 23 strike against the Yarmouk military factory in the capital, which led to speculation that Iranian weapons were stored or manufactured there.


Last month, Saudi authorities denied permission for a plane carrying Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to cross its airspace for the swearing-in of Iran’s new president.


Riyadh said Bashir’s flight plan lacked prior approval.

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 07:45
Sudan operating Su-24s

Image credit: Akram Kharief


28 August 2013 by defenceWeb


Satellite imagery and photographic evidence has confirmed that Sudan has received at least three Sukhoi Su-24 strike aircraft over the last few months.


According to the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP), DigitalGlobal satellite imagery has confirmed the presence of at least three Su-24s at the Sudanese Wadi Seidna airbase, which were acquired in recent months. The SSP says technical checks and pilot proficiency are probably underway at the air base.


“As early as March 2013, one Su-24 bomber was parked in the engine testing apron in the operational area of Wadi Seidna, located 25 km northwest of Khartoum,” the SSP said. “To date, three Su-24 aircraft have been observed at Wadi Seidna, most recently on August 24, 2013”.


Meanwhile, photos have emerged of Su-24s in Sudanese Air Force markings. They were provided by the Secret Difa 3 blog, which claims that Sudan has received 12 Su-24s from Belarus that were supposedly intended to go to Yemen.


In the past Sudan has used An-24/26 transport aircraft as crude, inaccurate bombers. The arrival of the Su-24s gives the Air Force the ability to conduct precision strikes over long ranges.


Satellite Sentinel Project and Enough Project Co-Founder John Prendergast stated that, “The capabilities of this particular type of bomber in the hands of the Sudanese government is troubling. Khartoum has an extensive track record of targeting civilian areas with aerial bombing, and these new planes will allow future damage to be even deadlier. The Sudan government has flouted past UN restrictions on offensive aerial operations in Darfur, and undertaken sustained bombing campaigns in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, where there are no UN restrictions. With the deployment of these attack planes, life just got much more dangerous for civilians living in Sudan’s war zones.”


“The Satellite Sentinel Project will keep tracking these aircraft to ensure that they are not used in Darfur, in contravention of the UN Security Council’s directive,” said Enough Project Sudan and South Sudan Policy Analyst Akshaya Kumar.


Sudan’s Air Force has of late received a number of new aircraft from Russia and Belarus. According to the United Nations it received 15 Sukhoi Su-25 ground attack jets from Belarus in 2008 and 2009. Together with Mi-24s, these have been used in operations against suspected rebel positions in South Kordofan and Darfour.


Sudan has taken delivery of a number of Mi-24s, with 36 delivered by Russia between 2007 and 2009, according to Amnesty International. In 2011 Rosoboronexport signed a contract for the supply of 12 former Russian Air Force Mi-24s and 6 Mi-8s to Sudan. This year Sudan apparently concluded a contract for the delivery of another 12 Mi-24s and 8 or 12 Mi-8s with an option to supply six more of each, according to Russian daily Vedomosti.


Russia told the UN Register of Conventional Arms that it transferred only four attack helicopters to Sudan in 2012.


Sudan is allegedly negotiating for the supply of 18 Sukhoi Su-30K fighters stored in Belarus.

Image credit: Akram Kharief

Image credit: Akram Kharief

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25 juillet 2013 4 25 /07 /juillet /2013 16:45
Darfur rebels launch new attack on central Sudan

25 July 2013 defenceWeb (Reuters)


Rebels from Sudan's strife-torn Darfur region launched a new assault on the country's once placid heartland, sending civilians running for cover, rebels and witnesses said.


Residents in al-Rachad, in the central North Kordofan state, an agricultural area that produces much of Sudan's gum arabic, exported for use in soft drinks, said they could hear explosions and intense gunfire outside the nearby town of Jebel al-Dayer.


"People have arrived here today fleeing fighting in the area of Jebel al-Dayer," said a resident of Rachad, asking not to be named, Reuters reports.


Gibril Adam, spokesman for the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), one of the biggest rebels groups in Darfur, said its fighters had attacked an army position. "We handed the army a defeat," he said.


Military spokesman al-Sawarmi Khalid said the rebels had attacked a village "with the goal of stealing from citizens", state news agency SUNA reported.


He said the army had repelled the attack and that five of its soldiers were killed, while the rebels suffered "big losses".


Rachad is close to the state capital El-Obeid and Um Rawaba, a city which JEM and other rebels stormed for one day in April, shocking the army by moving their fight from their remote borderlands to within 500 km (300 miles) of Khartoum.


Their assault on the region - their boldest since attacking Khartoum in 2008 - has displaced more than 50,000 civilians and soured relations with South Sudan, which Khartoum accuses of backing the rebels.


Juba denies the accusation, but Sudan has threatened to close by August 7 the two pipelines that carry oil exports from landlocked South Sudan unless it stops backing the insurgents.


"South Sudan's continued support (for the rebels) leads to instability in the region," Sudan's foreign ministry said in a statement, without mentioning Wednesday's fighting.


JEM is part of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF), an umbrella group that seeks to topple President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and end what it says is the dominance by wealthy Arab Khartoum elites of Sudan's rural areas.

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23 avril 2013 2 23 /04 /avril /2013 16:45
Sudan : Wars Within Wars

April 19, 2013: Strategy Page


Sudan and the main rebel group in South Kordofan state, the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), have agreed to hold peace talks. The conflicts in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states began two years ago. Relief agencies estimate that some one million people have been affected by the fighting. The peace talks have been tentatively scheduled to begin at the end of this month. Despite the agreement to talk, the war on the ground continues. The SPLM-N accused the government of conducting indiscriminate air attacks on villages in South Kordofan. Indiscriminate air attacks is a frequent accusation made against Khartoum and for a good reason. In Darfur the Sudanese government bombed villages it merely suspected of having sympathies with the rebels. The air attacks were essential state-directed terror attacks that sent a cruel message to villagers: stay in line or we will kill more of you. The SPLM-N contends that Sudan is doing the same thing in South Kordofan.


April 18, 2013: Firefights with cattle raiders have left over 20 people dead in South Sudan’s East Equatoria state. The raiders stole 750 cattle.


April 17, 2013: Sudan pardoned nine military officers who were arrested in what the government had called a coup plot. On April 7th the men had been sentenced to prison.


Sudan claimed that its forces had retaken the Dandor military post in South Kordofan state. The garrison is about 20 kilometers east of South Kordofan’s capital, Kadugli. A statement by the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army-North (the SPLM-N’s military force) confirmed that there had been a major battle at Dandor but said that it had withdrawn its forces from the area and that the SPLM-A had not suffered losses. The SPLM-N claimed that the government had employed ten aircraft in the battle, two Antonov transport-bombers, four MiG jets, and four helicopters.


April 12, 2013: The presidents of South Sudan and Sudan announced that the countries will re-establish full diplomatic relations and work to resolve border problems. The presidents met in South Sudan capital.  The dispute over the Abyei region has yet to be resolved, but both presidents said discussions on how to resolve Abyei will continue.


April 9, 2013: Some 30 camps for displaced persons in South Darfur state have not received food rations since February. The camps are also facing water shortages.


Sudan claimed its military forces had retaken the Dubu area in South Darfur state. The Sudanese Army has been fighting the Sudan Liberation Army-Minawi faction in the area. Meanwhile, the Sudan Liberation Army-Abdel Wahid faction claimed that it had attacked three army positions in north Darfur state and killed 64 Sudanese soldiers.


April 7, 2013: Tribal battles in Central Darfur (Umm Dukhun area) have left over 160 dead. Firefights and clashes have been going on for several days. The struggle pits members of the Missiriya tribe against the Salamat tribe. The Misseriya are usually regarded as a pro-Sudan tribe.


April 5, 2013: South Sudan has restarted crude oil production. Almost all oil production was shutdown in January 2012. South Sudan concluded that it could not afford to pay the exorbitant transport fees Sudan was charging for export through Sudan. Now both Sudans have reached a new oil production and transport agreement.


April 4, 2013: The UN reported that it was able to distribute food aid to over 50,000 people in a refugee camp in Sudan’s Blue Nile state. This was the first food delivery in the area in 19 months.


April 1, 2013: The SPLM-N claimed that Sudanese aircraft (Antonov transports rigged as bombers) dropped a total of 17 bombs on various villages in South Kordofan state. The villages were in the Nuba Mountain region.  Sudan is also accused of dropping 17 bombs on different villages in the state’s Nuba Mountains. Two bombs hit the village of Al Ganaya on April 1. Five bombs were dropped on the village of Troge on March 31. At least one civilian was killed in Troge.


March 31, 2013:  The hostage taking incident of March 24th has now been clarified. Members of the Sudan Liberation Army-Abdel Wahid (SLA-AW) faction took 31 hostages, who were traveling with UN peacekeepers, at gunpoint. The Darfur rebels thought the people were Sudanese government security agents (ie, spies and agitators) who were posing as displaced persons. It turns out they were refugees.


March 26, 2013: Oil company experts reported that South Sudan will likely resume oil production sometime in early April.


March 24, 2013: A Darfur rebel group intercepted a UN convoy of UN peacekeepers and, at gun point, demanded the UN peacekeepers hand over some three dozen refugees the group claimed were security officers working for the Sudanese government.  The outnumbered peacekeepers complied. The rebel group was tentatively identified as the Sudan Liberation Army-Abdel Wahid (SLA-AW) faction.


The Sudanese government (Khartoum) signed a peace agreement with a splinter faction of the Darfur rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). The faction is the JEM-Basher, named after its leader, Mohammed Basher. The mainline JEM claims that Basher’s group is very small and it is little more than a political front for Khartoum.


March 23, 2013: The UN confirmed that Sudan has agreed to conduct peace talks with the SPLM-N, the main rebel faction in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. The UN, however, said that Sudan and the SPLM-N should immediately cease hostilities. That has not occurred. The UN confirmation follows an earlier report that the government of South Sudan had agreed to act as a mediator in direct discussions between Sudan and the SPLM-N. South Sudan had reported that Sudan has agreed to use the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement as a guide for the new peace talks.


March 20, 2013: Relief agencies report 1,200 more refugees have entered camps in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state. The refugees are fleeing fighting in Sudan’s Blue Nile state. The wave is not as large as other waves but interviews with the refugees indicate that more are on the way. The refugees have fled from some very recent battles between the government and rebel fighters in Blue Nile state’s Kurmuk area. Some of the clashes have not been reported in media. This is not unusual, since independent journalists have trouble in reaching many of these areas. Some of the refugees claim that their villages were bombed by aircraft (ie, Sudanese Air Force aircraft).


March 18, 2013: The South Sudan army (SPLA) has engaged in a series of firefights with what the government described as an armed group in Jonglei state. The clashes began the first week of March.


March 16, 2013: Sudan’s South Kordofan is facing food supply shortages, and relief organizations claim that the situation will likely get worse during the rainy season when dirt roads become impassable. The main rebel group in South Kordofan, the SPLM-N, regularly claims that the Sudanese government is blocking food aid and is using food as a weapon. That is probably true. Sudan certainly did this during the worst days of the Darfur rebellion.


March 13, 2013: South Sudan now has on-going tribal wars or anti-government rebel activity in nine different states. The country has ten states. Conflict with Sudan certainly exacerbates the situation. South Sudan regularly accuses Sudan of fomenting tribal conflict, which Sudan denies. The South Sudan government understands that much of the rebel activity is based on lack of economic progress. Several tribes claim they are neglected and do not get a fair share of oil revenues. Of course, due to war with Sudan and the government’s decision to quit producing oil (ie, denying Sudan oil transport revenues), there has been little oil royalty money to pass around.

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5 juin 2012 2 05 /06 /juin /2012 16:43
La mission EUAVSEC au Sud Soudan lancée


Juin 5, 2012 Nicolas Gros-Verheyde (BRUXELLES2)


Le Conseil des ministres de la Justice devrait approuver jeudi (7 juin) le lancement de la mission de sécurisation de l’aéroport de Juba au Sud-Soudan. Mission dénommée « EUAVSEC South Soudan ». NB : Il n’y a pas encore de surnom. Si vous avez une idée, pour un surnom un peu sexy que ces quelques lettres, n’hésitez pas…


Sécuriser l’aéroport de Juba selon des normes internationales


Euavsec sera une mission civile de la PeSDC et aura trois objectifs. Tout d’abord, assurer la sécurité de l’aéroport contre les risques externes (terrorisme, drogues…). Il ne s’agit pas de faire de la sûreté aérienne (navigabilité…). L’enjeu n’est pas négligeable. Il s’agit d’éviter que cet aéroport – qui ambitionne d’être un aéroport de niveau international – ne devienne une porte d’entrée pour d’éventuels terroristes ou trafics en tout genre. Ensuite, il faut former les personnels et les guider dans leur mission quotidienne (la mission n’aura cependant pas de « mandat exécutif », c’est-à-dire que ce sont les Sud-Soudanais qui seront toujours en charge de la sécurité, les Européens n’intervenant à leurs côtés qu’en soutien). Enfin, des experts européens seront placés auprès de l’autorité aéroportuaire et du ministère des transports sud-soudanais afin d’aider à mettre en place et codifier les différentes règles de sécurité (mission de conseil et d’assistance).


Mission préliminaire


Une première équipe de 6-8 personnes, précurseurs, devrait être déployée sur le terrain d’ici la fin juillet. Et l’ensemble du personnel devrait suivre par vagues successives entre septembre et décembre. Ce qui permettra d’atteindre à la fin de l’année la pleine capacité opérationnelle. A ce stade, il devrait y avoir 64 personnes – 43 experts européens et 21 locaux- Le budget sera de 12,5 millions d’euros. La durée de la mission est prévue pour une période initiale de 19 mois, incluant une phase préparatoire et de développement de 7 mois maximum.


Le quartier général de la mission sera situé à Juba. C’est le chef de mission (qui reste à nommer) qui sera directement et pleinement responsable du contrôle et du commandement (C2) de la mission sur le théâtre, sous l’autorité du commandant des opérations civiles de l’UE à Bruxelles, H. Haber. Les Etats membres devront ainsi transférer le contrôle opérationnel (OpCon) de leurs personnels qu’ils vont détacher pour cette mission. Une partie des personnels sera, en effet, recrutée sous forme de détachement des Etats membres, l’autre partie par contrat direct conclu par l’UE (c’est assez classique !).


Une mission préparée depuis plus d’un an


Le Sud-Soudan a vu sa reconnaissance entérinée par l’ONU par la résolution du Conseil de sécurité 1996, adoptée le 8 juillet 2011, qui crée dans le même temps une mission – la Mission d’assistance des Nations Unies en République du Sud-Soudan (MANURSS) – dotée au maximum de 7 000 militaires et 900 policiers, ayant pour mandat de « consolider la paix et la sécurité« , d’aider à établir des conditions propices au développement dans la République du Sud-Soudan et de « renforcer la capacité du Gouvernement d’administrer efficacement et démocratiquement le pays » (lire le texte de la résolution).


Coté européen, les 27 avaient adopté dès le 20 juin une approche générale sur l’indépendance du nouvel Etat, envisageant le déploiement d’une mission de la PeSDC pour renforcer la sécurité autour de l’aéroport, et dans un second temps d’avoir une mission étendue à la gestion des frontières du Sud-Soudan. Le concept de gestion de crises (CMC) de la mission a été approuvée le 23 janvier 2012, après une invitation officielle du ministre sud-soudanais des transports adressée à la Haute représentante de l’UE, souhaitant la bienvenue à une mission de l’Union européenne.


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