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Russia to establish military base in Sudan

November 13, 2020 at 4:35 am

Russian military vehicles seen on the road towards its military outposts in Kamisli in Kamisli, Syria on 14 September 2020 [Samer Uveyd/Anadolu Agency]

Moscow has revealed a draft agreement with Khartoum on Wednesday that allows for establishing a naval logistics base on the Sudanese coast in the Red Sea.

The proposed naval base will be able to accommodate up to 300 soldiers and employees as stipulated in the agreement, in addition to ships equipped with nuclear gear “taking into account nuclear and environmental safety requirements”, provided that no more than four ships would anchor simultaneously.

Bilateral agreement

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced in an official statement last Friday that the draft agreement that was initially discussed with Sudan will be submitted to the Russian president.

The statement indicated that Sudan had approved the establishment of a naval logistics base on its territory, while pledging to develop and modernise the country’s infrastructure in order to maintain and supply Russian warships and provide hospitality services for crew members.

Russia expressed willingness to deliver weapons and military equipment to Sudan for free with the purpose of maintaining air defence systems to the proposed facility.

The statement added: “The project stems from a mutual desire of Moscow and Khartoum to strengthen and develop military cooperation to increase the defence capacity of both states.”

The statement continued: “The presence of the Russian naval logistics base in Sudan, which is set for defence purposes, meets with goals of maintaining peace and stability in the region, and not to pose any threat to other countries.”

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The term of the agreement will extend for 25 years, and will be automatically renewed for periods of ten consecutive years if neither party has notified in writing of its intention to end the accord.

In 2017, ousted President Al-Bashir visited Moscow and signed agreements to modernise the Sudanese Armed Forces with Russian assistance.

Following the deposition of Al-Bashir, last year the new Sudanese authorities confirmed Khartoum’s commitment to the political, economic and military agreements signed with Russia.

Russia also sends military advisors from time to time to African countries, as part of its endeavour to restore the influence it once held in the region, before the collapse of the former Soviet Union more than 30 years ago.