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U.S. army plans to support building civilian-led military in Sudan

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Sudanese troops participating in the Descendants of Tirhakah manoeuvres 26 Oct 2017 (File photo SUNA)

March 23, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - A U.S. diplomat said on Tuesday he discussed with Sudanese officials ways to develop a partnership to build a more capable, transparent, and accountable civilian-led military in Sudan.

On 26 January, Ambassador Andrew Young accompanied by U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Heidi Berg, U.S. Africa Command director of intelligence met in Khartoum with the head of Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and Sudanese army commanders.

"Among the key tools we discussed for possibly developing a future military partnership with the United States is the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program," Young wrote in an article published by the State Department about their visit to Sudan.

The IMET is funded by the State Department and implemented by the Defence Department aims to train future military leaders in allied foreign countries.

"Someday soon, IMET may fund Sudanese military personnel to study in the United States on issues such as military justice, civilian control of the military, and defence resource management," he added.

The Sudanese military under this programme will also study professional military education courses with their U.S. counterparts.

Recently, al-Burhan reiterated they would integrate former rebels in the army after receiving military training in the military college.

He further spoke about a comprehensive military reform aiming to represent all the Sudanese region in the army.

The U.S. diplomat said that Admiral Berg also spoke about the essential role of a professional military during an address at Sudan’s Higher Military Academy in Omdurman.

"The fruitful exchange that followed with students demonstrated just how interested Sudan’s armed forces are in pursuing closer cooperation with the United States," he said.

Recently two U.S. warships visited Port Sudan on the Red Sea three months after Sudan’s removal from the terror list.

The first US Navy ship to visit Sudan in decades USNS Carson City docked in Port Sudan on February 24. A week later, on n 1 March, the guided-missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill arrived in Port Sudan.

(ST)