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Ukraine proposed establishing Antonov maintenance facility in Sudan: Bashir

March 23, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir disclosed today that the Ukrainian government proposed turning al-Safat industrial complex into an Antonov maintenance centre that would serve all of Africa.

A Sudanese army Antonov plane (Amnesty International)
A Sudanese army Antonov plane (Amnesty International)
Bashir also said at today’s emergency cabinet meeting that he made a decision that any future contracts made by the army for purchasing military planes will be approved only with a clause that makes its maintenance done at al-Safat.

He asserted the need of domesticating military industry in the country.

In 2009, the Sudanese president inaugurated the Safat Aviation Complex, which is located in Khartoum’s Karari suburb. The company carries out the assembling, manufacturing, development and maintenance of aircrafts.

The complex, which is part of Sudan’s military manufacturing commission, was founded in 2005 primarily to support the Sudanese air force.

Defence minister Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein has underscored the importance of upgrading the capabilities of the Sudanese army (SAF) and other uniformed units to fully carry out its mission.

Hussein warned that this is needed particularly in Darfur where he said tribal conflict remains the largest threat to security in the troubled region which requires deployment of more high qualified forces whether in SAF, police or in National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS).

The top military official also called for holding meetings and consultations to formulate a security strategy that would enforce the country’s strength and pride.

Earlier this month, the head of Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), Tijani El-Sissi, warned against the rapidly deteriorating security situation in North and South Darfur states and criticised government for failing to restore security in the region, which has witnessed rebellion since 2003.

Sissi further said that the insecurity in North and South Darfur hampers the implementation of development projects.

“What happens there will not be a catalyst to start in any reconstruction effort in those areas,” he added.

(ST)

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