Timeless epics of the Sudanese Armed Forces

By: Mohammed Ahmed Adam

The Sudanese army which celebrates its centenary in a few months, had participated in several external battles, where it spared no efforts to gain a distinguished reputation, both in terms of courage and discipline, so it was not surprising that it had been classified as one of Africa’s 10 strongest armies in the 2019 year. Below are examples of these glorious experiences, to name a few.

In his book (The Heroics of the Egyptian-Sudanese Battalion in the Mexican War) the author Omar Toussoun, narrates how an Egyptian-Sudanese battalion was dispatched and traversed the Atlantic Ocean to participate in the Franco-Mexican War. French Emperor Napoleon III requested Said Pasha, the Governor of Egypt, to supply him with a brigade of Sudanese soldiers (Egypt and Sudan were at the time one country ruled by one ruler). On his turn, Said Pasha dispatched a battalion of 453 soldiers and officers who were engaged in the Franco-Mexican War from 1863 until 1867.

In describing the bravery and cleverness of the Sudanese battalion, a French general wrote a report on a famous battle in the war in the following terms: “The most supreme laurels have been laid over the heads of the Sudanese and Egyptians who bore the burden of this fight, for they nonchalantly disregarded the intense fire that the enemy poured in their direction and repelled them while they were outnumbered nine times and made the enemy retreat in a vanquished state.”

In the same vein, exemplifying the heroics and chivalrousness of the Sudanese army, a Saudi journalist, Mashaal al-Sudairy, wrote in his column in the Middle East newspaper, on 15 December 2022, that during World War II, the Libyan city of Tobruk, fell into the hands of the British after defeating Italian Fascist army. The British army as well-known was multi-ethnic; besides Indians, there were the Sudanese and other African nationalities (all under British rule by then). As sometimes happen in war situations, the British commander in a token of reward to his soldiers, permitted a free hand in the city of Tobruk, for three days.

Out of the blue, and from amidst the cheering, jubilant, and triumphant soldiers, the Sudanese battalion have had another distinct opinion; Pointing their rifles in a firing position, their leader with unwavering determination, addressed the British commander with words later immortalized in history “Within this city (Tobruk) there are Muslim Arab women, allowing any of your soldiers to touch and disgrace them, would be possible only in one situation “Over our dead bodies!”.

In the face of such heroic determination, the British commander only had to cancel his prior order. The Sudanese battalion, the Saudi journalist continues, thereby rescued Arab Muslim women in Tobruk, from the stigma of rape and humiliation, which would have lasting consequences for the victims and their offspring.

Indeed, there is nothing worse than man’s ingratitude to man, perhaps the most miserable today, from amongst the Sudanese soldiers who survived that event, however, outlived to witness how contemporary Khalifa Hafter’s Tobruk, repays the old favor to the Sudanese Army

Paradoxically, Khalifa Haftar, appointed by the very Tobruk Parliament, as the army chief had turned the city into a platform for hostilities against the Sudan. Middle East Eye, for instance, confirmed Haftar’s involvement in supplying the RSF militias, with arms and fuel to fight the Sudanese army, since the very inception of the conflict.

On the other hand, another page in the folder of pride, integrity, and professionalism of the Sudanese armed forces, features how when the Iraqi President, Abdul-Kareem Gasim, mobilized his forces in the early 1960s and threatened to invade the State of Kuwait, in reaction, the Arab League sent a joint Arab force, which included a battalion of the Sudanese Armed Forces.

Upon concluding their mission in Kuwait, the Sudanese battalion lined up at the airport to take the return flight. Perhaps in gratitude, one of the princes of the Al-Sabah family handed all the members of the battalion, a huge envelope stuffed with money and valuable wristwatches.

Following the end of the said ceremony, the commander of the battalion in his loudest, firmly ordered the battalion to put the said envelopes on the ground and march straight ahead towards the plane. The spectacle left the entire audience at the airport, in a state of both dumbfoundedness and impressiveness.

The salient message the Sudanese Force Commander wanted to convey to his Kuwaiti friends, entails the fact that Sudanese soldiers are not mercenaries, to accept rewards for their professional duties. Later, in honor of that very historic position, and recognition of the bravery and professionalism of the Sudanese soldiers, the state of Kuwait subsequently engaged and contracted several prominent Sudanese officers, to establish the Kuwaiti first military college.

As we have reviewed above, the Sudanese army has acquired special long combat experience and has been in a combat position since the Second World War and the post-independence period due to rebellion and intermittent civil wars, which necessarily earned it a lot of composure and discipline under all circumstances.

For all the above, the current tendentious smearing campaign to link a deeply rooted institution of the armed forces – as elucidated above- with a limited political entity like the Islamists or extremists, is a blatant manipulation of facts and diametrically holds no water. Likewise, the futile attempts to dwarf the persistently snowballing popular armed resistance across Sudan, as confined to Islamists, is quite absurd.

As a matter of fact, the said resistance currently represents the largest alliance of Sudan’s political and social spectrum from the right and left at home and abroad. This mosaic agrees on a consensual formula guaranteed by the minimum agreement on the need to dismantle once and for all, the RSF militia, as an existential threat to the very future of the Sudanese State.

The Sudanese army enjoys a well-established military doctrine; Political, dogmatic, and intellectual orientations have no place in the professionalism and military hierarchy of the Sudanese army. Such hierarchy and internal system were not affected even in the worst scenarios; for instance, during the stifling besiegement of the Army’s high Command, in the headquarters in Khartoum, under heavy shelling for more than seven months. Therefore, all timid pens and hoarse voices, desperately trying to question this very professionalism, are in a serious delusion.

The current unprecedented alignment of the Sudanese people behind their military establishment stems from their full awareness that their current battle is part and parcel of the machination to dismantle the regular armies in the region and subsequent subjugation, as has been the case in DRC, Somalia, Iraq and Libya, as well as the continued depletion of the Syrian and Yemeni armies.

Former Israeli Security Minister Avi Diechter in a lecture on Israel’s role in Iraq said that what was achieved in Iraq is more than we had planned and expected since Iraq’s neutralization is of strategic importance to Israeli security. Moreover, Sudan’s exhaustion in internal wars through our friends (neighbors)is of great importance because Sudan participated in the war against us with the rest of the Arab armies and neutralized the Sudanese army is an addition to Israel’s strengths in the Horn of Africa. The rest is history.

The huge sacrifices put in by the Sudanese people today, in resisting the RSF militia’s project are quite worthy: mindful that the militia is only a stereotype of the Fourth Generation Warfare; Having proven in practice that the imperial creative chaos strategy, is a guaranteed recipe for the fragmentation of the modern State of citizenship, the tearing up of its national and community fabric and the destruction of its national army, in favor of otherwise, fragile small sectarian and ethnic States vulnerable to domination and ingestion.

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