December 23, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan has appropriated more than 29 billion pounds (SDG) (about $1,8 billion) to defense and security which represents the largest single spending item in the 2017 budget.
According to Sudan’s 2017 budgetary estimates seen by Sudan Tribune, 5bn pounds have been allocated to the sovereign sector while 2,3bn was appropriated for agriculture and forests spending.
Other budget spending items includes 1,9bn for the economic sector, 5,5million for culture and information, 5,3million for health, 828million for education, 1,7bn for minerals and 1,7bn for transport, roads and bridges.
It is noteworthy that the combined education and health spending represents about 3% of spending on defence and security.
The Sudanese army has been fighting Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) rebels in Blue Nile and South Kordofan since 2011 and a group of armed movements in Darfur since 2003.
Sudan’s security apparatus has expanded vastly and military expenditure continued to rise as the government relies increasingly on militias such as the Popular Defense Forces (PDF) and the Rapid Support Forces (SRF) in military operations.
Last year, Sudan’s President Omer al-Bashir said “If 100% of the state’s budget was allocated to the army to secure the country, then that is still not enough.”