August 21, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - "The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) did not back down and did not disappoint the people of Sudan, despite maliciousness and conspiracies against Sudan," said President Omer al-Bashir Sunday.
- Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir addresses soldiers in the capital, Khartoum, on 16 March 2009 (Photo: Reuters)
Bashir was speaking at the celebrations to mark the 62th anniversary of the Sudanese army in Khartoum, two weeks after the failure of peace talks with the rebel groups in Blue Nile and South Kordofan and Darfur region.
In presence of Defence Minister Awad Ibn Ouf and Chief of General Staff, he further praised the role of the military to defend the country and appreciated their participation in regional operations.
Referring to the peace talks with the armed groups under the African Union mediation, however he expressed the government keenness to achieve peace through a negotiated solution.
"The government is keen to reach peace through negotiations as the best way to achieve stability in the country," he said.
Also, the president vowed to develop SAF the to "become the strongest and best army in the region".
SAF generals were opposed to a framework agreement signed by the then Presidential Assistant Nafei Ali Nafei in June 2011, one month after the start of the fighting in South Kordofan, because it provides that the SPLM-N fighters keep their arms until the conduct of a popular consultation.
The Sudanese army was established in 1925 following the a rebellion by the Sudanese elements in the colonial army. However it is proclaimed as the national army on 16 August 1955 after the evacuation of British army from Sudan ahead of the independence.
In a study released in 2011, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) estimates the number of the Sudanese troops at 109,300.