Forces: March 30, 2005

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Sudan has been using some of its new oil wealth to upgrade its armed forces. The country of 30 million has about 110,000 troops. There is a tiny navy of about 1800 sailors, and a small air force with about 3,000 personnel. The rest are in the army, which includes about 20,000 conscripts. Nearly all the troops are Arab, even though Arabs comprise only about 40 percent of the population. This is because the Arab minority has always dominated the country, including the 55 percent of the population (mostly in the south and west) who are black African. The Arabs cant run the whole show if the black African majority comprise most of the armed forces. About 30,000 troops are currently in Darfur. The army basically consists of about three dozen infantry brigade, many of them are getting new weapons and equipment.

In addition to the regular armed forces, there are some 45,000 Arabs armed and organized as a militia force. About a third of these are unofficial, and operate in Darfur (western Sudan). The rest mostly operate in the south, where they were used extensively against black African rebels. 

The only active rebels in the country right now are in Darfur, where about 6,000 armed men from the Sudanese Liberation Army, a thousand from the Justice & Equality Movement, and a few hundred belonging to several smaller groups.

 


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