Sudan, South Sudan, and Darfur: What Everyone Needs to Know

By Andrew S. Natsios | Go to book overview

11
THE FUTURE OF NORTH AND
SOUTH SUDAN

How has the NCP remained in power for two decades?

Since 1998, the NCP has used rising oil revenues to ensure its survival. Khartoum has built a domestic munitions industry, producing tanks, Kalashnikov machine guns, ammunitions, and small arms to provision the SAF, should international arms suppliers stop selling it weapons. Although Iranian and Chinese arms manufacturers provided the technical support necessary to build the plants, it is unlikely that Sudan currently produces weapons in any considerable quantity or quality, given that none are exported. The 2003 and 2004 battlefield defeats by Darfuri rebels against the SAF as well as its depleted ranks due to repeated purges—because of feared disloyalty—have led Khartoum to seek more advanced weapons from the Chinese and Russians as a substitute for an effective army. This has included fighter and bomber aircraft, helicopter gunships, and night vision goggles. The Sudanese air force contains a large contingent of foreign mercenary pilots many from Russia, Iran, and Egypt; it fears that its own pilots could be disloyal in a coup or refuse to carry out orders to bomb their own tribes and regions. Despite this growing superiority in advanced weaponry, the armed forces have been demoralized from repeated purges and defeats, politicized by the NCP (officers are chosen for loyalty rather

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