Sudan army chief says to have notes on Russian naval base deal

Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan says there are faults in the base deal that have to be remedied.

Sudan’s army chief, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, said Khartoum has some notes about the agreement on the construction of a Russian naval base on the country’s Red Sea coast.

“The creation of this base is part of an existing agreement. We keep regularly discussing the matter, and there are some faults that have to be remedied,” al-Burhan told Russia’s state-run news agency, Sputnik.

“We are committed to international agreements and will continue to implement them to the end,” he said.

The Sudanese general said Khartoum has “long-standing” and “continuous” military cooperation with Moscow.

In November 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a draft agreement between his country and Sudan for the establishment of a Russian naval base on the Red Sea coast of the African country.

The 25-years long agreement was signed at the time of former President Omar Bashir, who was removed from power by the military in April 2019.

The base was to be Russia’s first-ever full military presence in Africa and the second in the world, after Tartus in Syria.

But in April 2021, Sudan froze the military agreement with Russia, a top Sudanese official told Anadolu Agency. And in June, the army chief of staff, Gen. Mohamed Othman al-Hussein, said Khartoum was reviewing the military agreement with Russia, including the establishment of a naval base on the Red Sea coast.

Al-Burhan’s statements came one week after he announced a state of emergency and dissolved the transitional sovereign council and government, amid rising tensions between the military and the civilian administration in the country.

Before the military takeover, Sudan was administered by a sovereign council of military and civilian officials, which oversaw the transition period until elections slated for 2023, as part of a precarious power-sharing pact between the military and the Forces for Freedom and Change coalition.


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