The U.S. Military Is Cozying Up to Sudan, of All Countries
The United States seems to be working toward courting an unexpected ally in its operations in Africa. On Aug. 9, 2017, Alexander Laskaris — an American diplomat that works for the U.S. military’s Germany-based Africa Command — visited Sudan for a series of meetings with military and diplomatic officials.... Read more
In 1981, Weather and Reporters Stymied a Complicated Air Ambush in Sudan
In reaction to Libya claiming all of the Gulf of Syrte as its territorial waters, in January 1981 U.S. president Ronald Reagan ordered the U.S. Navy to conduct a “freedom of navigation exercise” in that part of the Mediterranean Sea. During the exercise, there were dozens of tense encounters... Read more
Sudan Militants Clash in the Fighting Season’s Biggest Battles Yet
Sudan government forces attacked at least six rebel-held locations across the Nuba Mountains this week, sparking the largest battles the region has seen in more than a year. The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) is attempting to reach the rebel-held capital Kauda with multiple units moving west and north through South... Read more
The Mysterious Ideology Behind Sudan’s Toughest Rebels
This is part three of a three-part series. Read part one and two. The Justice and Equality Movement, or JEM, is the most successful rebel army in Sudan. It has far greater reach and more battlefield successes than its competitors. Which isn’t that peculiar. What’s far stranger is that the JEM follows a mysterious,... Read more
Sudan Spends Almost Everything on War
Sudan’s 2016 budget allocates a disproportionately large amount of defense spending that could comprise more than half the total budget. During a speech before Sudan’s air force headquarters in December, president Omar Al Bashir dismissed criticism of the high share of the budget allocated to security, claiming it stills... Read more
Stranded in Enemy Territory, a Rebel Splinter Faction Got Stuck
This is part two of a three-part series. Read part one. At first glance, the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement/Army-North presents a positive alternative to Sudan’s ruling regime. The rebel group champions an ideology known as “New Sudan,” which envisions a united country built on democracy and equality, in contrast to Khartoum’s... Read more
A Rebel Army Tried to Build a New Sudan, Then Fell Apart
This is part one of a three-part series. Sudan, fractured by ethnic and religious conflict since its independence, seems to welcome civil war. For decades, a government controlled by Arab Muslims from the north has oppressed and persecuted minorities at the margins and peripheries of the country.  But war has fractured... Read more
Sudan Plays Both Sides of the Saudi-Iranian Cold War
It’s a fool’s game to look for anything consistent about Sudan’s foreign relations. The country’s president, Omar Al Bashir, has supported the military aims of both Saudi Arabia and Iran, whose arch-rivalry has gained increasing intensity as Sunni-Shia sectarian violence rises in the Middle East. In 2013, Chinese shoulder-fired rocket launchers... Read more
Sudanese Troops Get Their First Taste of Combat in Yemen
Sudanese troops had their first clash with Houthi rebels in Yemen. They are backing the Yemeni army, which began a push to reclaim the strategic Al Sharija area in the province of Lahij. Khartoum sent a detachment of about 850 soldiers to the city of Aden in October to... Read more

Kevin Knodell

Contributing Editor

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