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Sudan Table of Contents



The SPAF established numerous institutions for training its military personnel. Foreign military observers believed that the training offered was of a professional caliber within the limitations of available resources. The Military College at Wadi Sayyidna, near Omdurman, had been Sudan's primary source of officer training since it opened in 1948. A two-year program, emphasizing study in political and military science and physical training, led to a commission as a second lieutenant in the SPAF. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, an average of 120 to 150 officers were graduated from the academy each year. In the late 1950s, roughly 60 graduated each year, peaking to more than 500 in early 1972 as a result of mobilization brought on by the first southern rebellion. Students from other Arab and African countries were also trained at the Military College, and in 1982 sixty Ugandans were graduated as part of a Sudanese contribution to rebuilding the Ugandan army after Amin's removal from power. It was announced in 1990 that 600 members of the National Islamic Front's associated militia, the Popular Defence Forces (PDF), had been selected to attend the Military College to help fill the ranks of the officer corps depleted by resignations or dismissals (see Paramilitary Groups , this ch.).

The Military College's course of study, while rigorous, was reportedly weak in scientific and technical instruction. Junior officers were, however, given opportunities to continue their education at the University of Khartoum. Many officers also studied abroad. It was estimated that at least 50 percent had received some schooling in Egypt. Others were sent to the United States, Britain (pilots and mechanics), Germany (helicopter pilots), and Middle Eastern countries. Most high naval officers had been trained at the Yugoslav naval academy; other naval officers were detailed for training in the states of the Persian Gulf. Opportunities for training abroad were greatly curtailed, however, as a result of international disapproval of the policies of the Bashir government.

Since the early 1970s, the Staff College in Omdurman has graduated fifty-five to sixty majors and lieutenant colonels annually with masters' degrees in military science. Officers from other Arab countries--Jordan, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates--attended, as well as some Palestinians. Since 1981 the High Military Academy in Omdurman, a war college designed to prepare colonels and brigadier generals for more senior positions, offered a six-month course on national security issues. The academy was commissioned to produce strategic analyses for consideration by the Bashir government.

In addition to the academies, the SPAF also operated a variety of technical schools for junior and noncommissioned officers, including infantry, artillery, communications, ordnance, engineering, and armored schools, all in the vicinity of Khartoum. An air force training center at Wadi Sayyidna Air Base was constructed with Chinese help to train technicians in aircraft maintenance, ground control, and other skills. In the army, recruitment and basic training of enlisted men were not centralized but were the responsibility of each division and regional command.

Data as of June 1991