Sudan Table of Contents
Figure 9. Organization of the Armed Forces, 1991
The armed forces of the national government, known as the Sudanese People's Armed Forces (SPAF), were believed to have a total personnel strength of about 71,500 in 1991. The army numbered about 65,000 officers and enlisted men. The navy had perhaps 500, and the air force and air defense command each had a complement of about 3,000.
General Bashir, the chairman of the RCC-NS and head of state since the coup of June 1989, was also supreme commander of the armed forces and minister of defense. A colonel at the time of the coup, Bashir subsequently assumed the rank of lieutenant general. The SPAF chief of staff, Lieutenant General Ishaq Ibrahim Umar, was in immediate command of the armed forces. The general staff included deputy chiefs of staff for operations, administration, and logistics, who also held the rank of lieutenant general. The commander of the air force, the commander of air defense command, division commanders, and most military governors held the rank of major general. A retired major general was appointed minister of state for defense affairs to serve as Bashir's deputy in the Ministry of Defence (see fig. 9). The actual responsibilities and influence of senior officers depended greatly on their political status, ethnic affiliation, and other factors in addition to their positions in the chain of command.
Data as of June 1991