Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has pledged to continue the development of his country's military capabilities to preserve peace and stability.
Speaking during celebrations to mark the 62nd anniversary of Sudan's independence, al- Bashir said "we will develop our deterrent military capabilities with sophisticated defence systems".
"If peace and reconciliation are not guarded by force, they will collapse, especially by external forces trying to seize our country's resources", al- Bashir said. He added that "military development is a legitimate objective to build a strong Sudan, in accord with the highest standards in terms of numbers, organization, armament and deterrence".
"The comprehensive national project for the development of military capabilities has come a long way and Sudan has a professional army, ready to face the challenges confronting the country and protect its territory and its resources" he added.
This year, Sudan marked its independence anniversary for the first time since the lifting of US sanctions imposed on Khartoum in 1997.