Friday, May 31, 2024

Sudan confirms agreements with Russia for naval base in Red Sea. Previous deal allowed Russia to keep up to four navy ships including nuclear powered ones (UPDATE 1)

DEPUTY Commander-in-Chief of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), states in a recent interview last Saturday, that Gen Burhan, Commander-in-Chief of SAF, signed agreements with Russia for a naval base. Surely the Russians know that any agreements signed by Sudan are rarely honoured. Read more.

From Radio Dabanga English
Dated Wed, 29 May 2024 - here is a full copy, plus two related reports:

Sudan general confirms Red Sea base deal with Russia, strengthens ties with Iran

Chairman of Sudan's Transitional Sovereignty Council Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan meets the Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov in Khartoum, February 9, 2023 (Sudan's Transitional Sovereignty Council)

Lt Gen Yasir El Atta, deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), states in a recent interview with Al Hadath News last Saturday, that Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, Commander-in-Chief of SAF, signed agreements with Russia for a naval base. El Atta apologised to the Sudanese people for military delays in Khartoum. Sudan and Iran are also strengthening bilateral cooperation following resumed diplomatic relations.

El Atta says that El Burhan will sign agreements with Russia soon. He states that Russia asked for a “supply point” on the Red Sea in exchange for supplying SAF with weapons and ammunition. “It is not a shame to give a military base to any country on the Red Sea with which we have brought together economic partnerships.”

In the same interview, for the first time, El Atta apologised to the Sudanese people, saying, “We apologise to the Sudanese people for any failure and we bear what is happening with all responsibility.”

Acknowledging the army’s delay in recovering a number of areas in Khartoum, “We were late in recovering Bahri and Khartoum for further preparation, but we are currently ready… We have 12 battalions of popular resistance made up of various backgrounds of the political spectrum,” in reference to SAF and its many militias under it. He mentioned that the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) “wreaked havoc” in the areas left by the SAF. The SAF have been gaining victories in Omdurman since the start of the year, in part due to weapon and drone shipments from Iran.

Warm sea port 

The Russian government have been attempting to establish warm seaports globally and specifically the Red Sea. In February 2023, Sudan via El Burhan was ready to offer a Red Sea port to Russia in exchange for arms and other considerations. However, the war broke out in April between SAF and the RSF, putting the deal was put on hold indefinitely.

The previous 2021 deal, allowed Russia to keep up to four navy ships in the Red Sea, including nuclear powered ones. The agreement can be automatically extended for 10-year periods if none of the parties objected. Radio Dabanga cannot confirm whether these agreements still stand today.

Russian newspaper Pravda reports Russia may sign an agreement with the SAF for a weapons exchange to support a Russian logistics hub in Port Sudan on the Red Sea.

Growing geopolitical tensions 

Yesterday, the American magazine Newsweek warned the US of what it described as a new threat to its interests in the Red Sea, represented by Iran’s efforts to control the important waterway and the formation of a new ‘crescent’ that also threatens the interests of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel. The article further states how Iran is seeking to take advantage of the ongoing civil war in order to expand its military presence. 

The article examines how El Burhan aimed to align Sudan more closely with the west and remained wary of the Iranian regime. However, due to a lack of western support, has turned to Tehran for the necessary security assistance to combat the RSF. Iran quickly offered military aid in exchange for establishing a naval base on Sudan’s Red Sea coast, which, alongside its Houthi proxy bases in Yemen, would grant Iran significant control over a crucial global waterway.

However, Iran has denied attempting to entice Sudan to allow it to establish a naval base on the strategic Red Sea coast, a day after Sudan’s foreign ministry issued a similar denial. According to the report, Sudan rejected Iran’s offer for fear of angering the USA and Israel. But it is not clear how long Khartoum will be able to withstand Iranian pressure.

Sudan and Iranian foreign diplomats

The Sudan News Agency reports how Sudanese ambassador Hussein Ali, Minister of Foreign Affairs-designate for Iran, met last Saturday, with Iranian acting FA Minister Ali Bagheri, in Tehran. Arriving to convey condolences on behalf of the Sudanese government on the death of Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi, FA Minister Hossein Abdul Lahian, and their peers in a helicopter crash last week. 

Bagheri expressed their deep thanks for the support and assistance they found following this painful event from the Sudanese leadership. The two sides held a session of talks on ways to launch cooperation between the two countries in various fields. This comes after the recent resumption of diplomatic relations between Sudan and Iran, the ambassadors seek to contribute pushing relations between the two countries at a rapid pace.

Rent prices skyrocket

As previously reported, residential property rents in Port Sudan have surged to unprecedented levels, according to reports previous Thursday. The soaring rental prices are attributed to the renewed Iranian diplomatic presence in the city. The Iranian embassy has rented 17 apartments in Port Sudan for its staff, driving up demand and costs. Iran has supplied the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) with Mohajer-6 drones, which experts believe have bolstered SAF operations in Omdurman.

Iranian ship Behshad, that allegedly serves as a 'spy ship' in the Red Sea for Iran's Revolutionary Guards (File photo: Akbar Tavakkoli / IRNA)

Iranian Navy destroyer Alborz, currently deployed in the Red Sea (Photo: Taznim news agency)



Further Reading

From Sudan Watch - January 11, 2024:

The Maritime Executive - 09 December 2020

Russia Signs Deal With Sudan for Naval Base on the Red Sea - excerpt:

The agreement provides the Russian Navy with access to Port Sudan for a period of 25 years, with automatic renewal every decade thereafter. It may keep up to four naval vessels at a time at the port, including nuclear-powered vessels - an important consideration for Russia's submarine fleet. For logistics, Russian forces have permission to use Sudanese ports and airports to deliver any needed "weapons and equipment" to keep the port running. On-base manning is limited to 300 Russian personnel. 

In return, Russia will provide arms and training for Sudan's military, extending a role it already plays in the country. Last year, Russia and Sudan signed a seven-year agreement that provides the Sudanese government with military support, and Russian military advisors have participated in Sudanese public security operations. 

The Russian destroyer Vice Adm. Kulakov with a Russian fleet tug 
(file image courtesy Royal Navy)

Full story:


The Maritime Executive - 13 December 2017

Russia Moves Forward with Syrian Naval Base - excerpt:

"For Russia, a naval base in Syria . . . is always a place where Russian navy men can take a short rest and hold quick repairs, if necessary. Taking into account that the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions are of strategic importance for world security, Russian forces should stay here indefinitely," said Mikhail Nenashev, chairman of the All-Russian Fleet Support Movement, speaking to Pravda.

The base at Tartus has been under Russian control since 1971, and Russia finalized a 74-year renewal agreement with Syria in January with a 49-year lease followed by a 25-year automatic extension. The enlarged facility will operate outside of Damascus' legal jurisdiction, and Syria will not interfere with any military activities related to its operation. Separately, Russia has also renewed its lease on a military airbase in Western Syria for a period of 50 years. 

The port of Tartus. The Russian base's berths are at the top center of the image (Digital Globe)



UPDATE 1 by Sudan Watch Editor 

On Wednesday, 12 June 2024 at 16:02 GMT UK:

Report published at Sudan Tribune

Dated Wednesday, 12 June 2024. Here is a full copy:

Russia denies deal for Sudan naval base

ST PETERSBURG, June 12 – Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, confirmed today that talks are ongoing with Sudan regarding a potential Russian base on the Red Sea, but denied any concrete agreement has been reached.

“Communication continues, but there are no firm agreements at this time, even between the defence ministries, to my knowledge,” said Bogdanov, who is also the special presidential envoy for the Middle East and Africa.

In 2019, the two countries agreed to build a logistical centre in Port Sudan. However, following a regime change, the transitional government’s military and civilian components decided to delay ratification until after the general elections.

Recently, several pro-military Sudanese commentators urged General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of the ruling Sovereign Council, to finalize a deal with Russia regarding the naval base without imposing further conditions.

Additionally, Sudan’s Ambassador to Russia, Mohamed Siraj, reaffirmed his country’s commitment to establishing a Russian naval base on the Red Sea. In a June 1 interview with Sputnik, Siraj stated that a formal agreement for a logistical support centre has already been reached between the two nations.

Bogdanov expressed deep concern over the ongoing conflict in Sudan, emphasizing the urgent need for negotiations to end the bloodshed and prevent the country’s collapse.

“The situation threatens Sudan’s territorial integrity. We have consistently called for strengthening and unifying the country, and this can only be achieved through dialogue,” he said.

The diplomat affirmed Russia’s readiness to facilitate talks aimed at a swift resolution to the conflict, stating, “We support the Jeddah negotiations and Saudi Arabia’s mediation efforts, and are prepared to host meetings if requested.”

View original:


Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Iran determined to contribute to Sudan's independence, progress: interim president

NOTE from Sudan Watch Editor: Many wars in the world seem to be prophesied in the Bible. In ancient times Iran (still intent on destroying Israel) was called Persia. Sudan was called Kush. Going by my Bible studies, the world is getting close to the end times. Could be in 7 or 100 years time, only God knows. British leaders are referring to the current times as a "pre-war world". It seems to me the conflict in Sudan compared to the Israel-Hamas war and Russia-Ukraine war is similar as belligerents are intent on fighting with no end in sight. Those wars and their effect on the world are prophesied in the Bible. People need to have a close personal relationship with God and live every day like it's the last. Life is camping, Heaven is home.

Verse of the Day for Tuesday, May 28, 2024:

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9 King James Version (KJV)


Report from China View
Source Xinhua; Editor: huaxia
Dated Monday, 27 May 2024 - full copy:

Iran determined to contribute to Sudan's independence, progress: interim president

TEHRAN, May 26 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Interim President Mohammad Mokhber said on Sunday that his country would spare no effort to contribute to the Sudanese people's independence, advancement and peace.

He made the remarks in a meeting with Sudan's Acting Foreign Minister Hussein Awad Ali in Iran's capital Tehran, according to a statement published on the website of the Iranian president's office.

Mokhber highlighted the effective roles played by Iran's late President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in promoting the country's relations and cooperation with Muslim and like-minded states, stressing that the same approach would continue to be pursued as Iran's fundamental strategy.

The Sudanese foreign minister, for his part, extended condolences over the deaths of Raisi and his entourage in a helicopter crash last Sunday, saying the relations between his country and Iran had been formed based on Islamic and humanitarian principles as well as the friendship between the two peoples.

In October last year, Iran and Sudan announced the restoration of their diplomatic relations, which had been severed for seven years. Sudan cut ties with Iran in 2016 after Saudi Arabia ended its relations with Tehran in the same year.



Saturday, May 25, 2024

Arrest warrants for Netanyahu & Gaza’s Sinwar won’t stop the killings in Gaza, ex-British Navy chief warns

NOTE from Sudan Watch Editor: This news report is chronicled here for future reference and to help me piece together relationships between Sudan, Iran, Israel, Hamas, Russia and others. It is strange how the SAF and everyone based in embassies in Sudan were taken by surprise when RSF attempted to seize power in Sudan 15 Apr 2023, and that Israel was taken by surprise when Hamas launched its horrific attack on Israel 7 Oct 2023. It is odd that the two events took everyone by surprise. Makes no sense. Fishy.

Report from The Irish Sun
Dated Friday, 24 May 2024 - excerpts:

‘ACHIEVES NOTHING’ Arrest warrants for Netanyahu & ‘Gaza’s Bin Laden’ Sinwar ‘won’t stop the killings in Gaza’, ex-Brit Navy chief warns
Admiral Lord West says ICC arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Sinwar will not stop killings in Gaza. Watch as Lord West tells The Sun's Jerome Starkey of how he was 'surprised' to hear of the arrest warrants

ARREST warrants for Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar will not stop the killings in Gaza, warns an ex-Navy boss.

Lord Admiral West said he was "surprised" to hear of the International Criminal Court's move against both men as it only "muddies the water".

He told The Sun's defence show that the warrants only 'muddy the water' 

Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar holds the child of an
Al-Qassam Brigades fighter Credit: AFP

It was revealed this week that both Netanyahu and "Gaza's Bin Laden" Sinwar were facing arrest on war crime charges.

The International Criminal Court (ICC)'s chief prosecutor Karim Khan announced on Monday that he applied for arrest warrants against Netanyahu, Sinwar, and other senior figures.

And today, the UN court ordered Israel to halt its offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah and withdraw from the enclave.

Speaking on The Sun's World At War show, former Navy chief Lord West said he was "surprised" to hear about the ICC request.

He said: "I'm not sure that it actually helps anything.

"I don't think it'll help stop the killings in Gaza. I think it muddies the water."

Reaching a judgement will be "extremely difficult", he claimed, as there are many "historical things" to consider.

Lord West said: "I think in terms of judging the actions of the Israelis today in Gaza, you've, in a way, almost got to separate it all from all the historical aspects or from what they're doing in the West Bank, or from what their plans are for the future.

"Basically, they are doing a military operation in a very built-up area in Gaza.

"That is an extremely difficult thing to do, as we know, which is why we try and keep out ... of those sort of operations."

He added: "I think these judgements are so, so difficult."

Netanyahu, 74, and Israeli defence minister Yoav Gallant, 65, are facing arrest for the crimes of "causing extermination, causing starvation as a method of war including the denial of humanitarian relief supplies and deliberately targeting civilians in conflict".

October 7 mastermind Sinwar, 61, Hamas military chief Mohammed Deif, 58 and Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh, 62, meanwhile stand accused of war crimes including: murder, hostage taking, rape, sexual violence, torture, and cruelty.

ICC judges will decide within weeks whether there is enough evidence to issue arrest warrants for both Netanyahu and Sinwar.

If warrants are issued, the Israeli PM could find himself effectively barred from nations including the UK, which is a member of the ICC.

The Hamas horror on October 7 claimed 1,200 lives, while Israel’s brutal response in Gaza is said to have killed more than 35,000.


Lord West also warned the world is more dangerous now than during the Cold War.

He said the era of nuclear-sabre rattling between global superpowers was "safer in some ways because everyone understood it".

The world now, he argued, is "very unpredictable" as he listed off the wars in Ukraine, Gaza, Sudan and the escalating tensions in the South China Sea.

But as we move into what British leaders have called a "pre-war world", West declared that our armed forces are "not of a size they should be".

He said: "At long last, I think people are understanding: 'Goodness me, we've taken too much out of defence'," but added that for too long the forces have been "hollowing out."


The ex-Navy chief also told The Sun's Jerome Starkey on his hit show World At War that Chinese president Xi Jinping could betray his ally Vladimir Putin and invade Russia.

Lord West warned that Vlad should beware the company he keeps, as Xi may target him as part of his campaign for global domination.

He argued Putin was a submissive "supplicant" to a far more powerful Xi, and that the alliance between the pair of despots could fall apart if the Chinese leader becomes too greedy.

The former First Sea Lord said he believes Xi could be planning to invade parts of Russia and capture its bountiful oil fields.

He said: "If it really gets very bad and they desperately need resources I think there's a very real risk they cold decide to take the bits of Siberia they want.

"It is all about resources. Resources are going to become more and more of a problem for China.

"They have already issued maps of Siberia that have Chinese names.

"That is why Putin is playing with fire. The Chinese don't like him."

Full story:



ICC - 3 May 2024

Statement of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor

The Office insists that all attempts to impede, intimidate or improperly influence its officials cease immediately.


ICC - 17 May 2024

Statement by the Presidency of the Assembly of States Parties in support of the independence and impartiality of the International Criminal Court


ICC - 20 May 2024

Statement of ICC Prosecutor @KarimKhanQC

Applications for arrest warrants in the situation in the State of Palestine

___ - 20 May 2024

Opinion Israel-Hamas war 

Why we support ICC prosecutions for crimes in Israel and Gaza  

From Lord Justice Fulford, Judge Theodor Meron CMG, Amal Clooney, Danny Friedman KC, Baroness Helena Kennedy LT KC, Elizabeth Wilmshurst CMG KC


Clooney Foundation for Justice - 20 May 2024

Amal Clooney, Barrister and Co-Founder of the Clooney Foundation for Justice

Today, my colleagues and I have published an oped and a detailed legal report of the Panel’s findings. My approach is not to provide a running commentary of my work but to let the work speak for itself. I hope that witnesses will cooperate with the ongoing investigation. And I hope that justice will prevail in a region that has already suffered too much.”


BBC News - 24 May 2024

Top UN court orders Israel to stop Rafah offensive

The UN's top court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), has issued a dramatic ruling, ordering Israel to "immediately halt its military offensive in Rafah".


CIJ_ICJ @CIJ_ICJ  - 24 May 2024

A summary of the #ICJ Order on the request of South Africa of 10 May 2024 for the modification of the Order of 28 March 2024 in the case South Africa v. Israel