Country Listing

Sudan Table of Contents



Armed Forces: In 1991 Sudanese People's Armed Forces (SPAF) totaled approximately 71,500 personnel; army had about 65,000; air force and Air Defense Command each had about 3,000; navy had about 500.

Major Tactical Units: SPAF organized into six regional commands having divisional structures. Main units: two armored brigades, one mechanized infantry brigade, one airborne brigade, one air assault brigade, seventeen infantry brigades, three artillery regiments, two antiaircraft artillery brigades, and one engineering regiment. Strengths of brigades, battalions, and companies varied greatly. Air force organized into two fighterground attack squadrons and two fighter squadrons, of which only one functioning, plus transport squadron, unarmed helicopter squadron, and training aircraft. Air Defense Command equipped with radar-directed antiaircraft guns and Soviet SA-2 missiles. Naval forces, under army command, had some functioning river patrol boats but little or no capacity to patrol Red Sea coast. Much of armed forces equipment nonoperational because of poor maintenance and lack of spare parts.

Civil War: Since 1983 armed rebellion has been conducted by forces of Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) with estimated strength of 50,000 to 60,000 in 1991. SPLA controlled most rural areas of south, government forces holding out under siege conditions in major towns. SPLA armed with light weapons, shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles, some artillery and rocket launchers, and a few armored vehicles. Government forces assisted by tribal militia groups, which guilty of many atrocities against civilians in south. Government also organizing paramilitary body called Popular Defence Forces.

Military Assistance: Most military equipment supplied by Soviet Union, 1968-71; limited cooperation with Soviet Union continued until 1977. Egypt and China subsequently became prominent suppliers. In early 1980s, United States became principal source of aid, notably aircraft, tanks, armored vehicles, and artillery. United States aid sharply reduced in 1983 and formally terminated in 1989.

Defense Costs: Official data unavailable; defense budget estimated at US$610 million in 1989, constituting 7.2 percent of gross national product.

Internal Security Forces: National police (Sudan Police Force) totaled about 30,000. State Security Organisation main instrument of domestic intelligence and internal security until 1985. After 1989 military coup, separate Islamic-oriented security bodies formed to suppress opposition to regime.

Data as of June 1991