Iran Gains African Foothold up to Chad through Pacts with Sudan

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Iran jumped in with gusto to meet Sudan president Omar al-Bashir’s application for a military package including arms and training of his army. The application was received after the horrendous Darfur tragedy and Khartoum’s backing for Chad rebels finally convinced Sudan’s traditional arms suppliers, Russia, China and Libya, to back away from arming Sudan’s 120,000-strong army.
Beijing came last, sensitized to its international image by the approaching Olympic Games in August. Libya has a major beef with Khartoum for backing the rebels fighting to overthrow Chad president Idriss Debby.
The pacts were signed on March 8 by Iran’s defense minister Gen. Mostafa Mohammad Majjar and his Sudanese counterpart, Gen. Abdul Rahim Mohammad Hussein, a fighter pilot appointed defense minister last month.
For years Tehran has been building up its military ties with Khartoum with an eye on its geopolitical assets: a long coast on the Red Sea, a main sea lanes to the Persian Gulf, a Muslim nation located opposite Saudi Arabia and next door to Egypt; Sudan’s command of oil resources and the White Nile, a major water source for an entire African region. This strategic jewel finally dropped into Iran’s fundamentalist lap.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s Iranian sources disclosed its substance on March 14, 2008:
1. The Sudanese Army will gradually re-adjust from Russian and Chinese weaponry to Iranian-made items.
2. A 50 percent discount on Iran arms sold to Sudan.
3. Iran will build Sudan a military industry for the manufacture of Iranian weapons.
4. The two governments will establish a joint military commission to translate mutual defense collaboration into practical form. Each undertakes to come to the other’s aid in the event of foreign aggression.
5. The two air forces, navies and armored corps will exchange delegations.
6. Iran will help Sudan plan and construct security systems for strategic locations, such as oil fields, ports and the Nile River dams.
The $1.8 billion White Nile River Merowe Dam hydropower project, which includes a 174-kilometer long reservoir, is funded by China and Arab countries. Chinese, Sudanese, German and French companies participate in this project and in the Kajbar Dam downstream of the Merowe Dam.
The Sudanese are afraid that Egypt, which claims the Merowe project is diverting its water supply, may attack and destroy the project.
On March 10, the UN center in Geneva published a report compiled by a group of experts monitoring human rights in Sudan, which had this to say about these dams:
“We regret that the government did not allow access to Kajbar, Amir, Merowe and Makabrab in the northern state. The visit was planned to meet with local authorities and affected communities in the Nile valley area where two hydropower dams are being constructed. It was canceled by Sudan’s state security committee the day before it was scheduled to travel to the area. The reasons provided by the government did not justify their decision to prevent access.
‘”After being prevented from traveling to the area, the international experts met with representatives from the affected communities in Khartoum. They urged the government to ensure the safety and adequate housing of persons displaced from the area.
They also requested access for UN human rights officers to conduct an independent assessment mission to the area.”
According to the information reaching DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s sources, the Merowe Dam is displacing more than 50,000 people living in the fertile Nile Valley and casting them out to arid desert locations. The government is violently suppressing the protests of the Nubian people who would be displaced by the Kajbar Dam.
7. Iran has assumed responsibility for sending instructors to train Sudanese army units deployed in Darfur. To disguise the aid rendered to the forces perpetrating atrocities in Darfur, the Iranians have set up a number of welfare facilities in the province.
The have also built a military hospital to serve the Sudanese army.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s military and intelligence sources disclose that in 2006, Sudan secretly permitted Iran to deploy intelligence agents along its border with Chad. These agents were entrusted with three missions.
Their missions were Oneb: To subjugate the Chad tribes working the uranium deposits of eastern Chad preparatory to their seizure; Two: To establish links with Chadian elements willing to challenge Libyan influence; Three: To strike west via Chad and hook up with the terrorist organizations battling Western influence – primarily American and Israeli – on the African continent.
By no coincidence, an American-Israeli plot was suddenly “uncovered” in Khartoum – at the very moment last month when the Sudanese defense minister was away in Tehran signing military pacts.
Sudan’s security agencies were said to have carried out a snap search of a private plane belonging to an unnamed American company operating in Sudan as it arrived with oil field equipment. What they claimed to have found was an “Israeli Mossad electric surveillance device” which was to have been planted at local military facilities.
Khartoum’s tie-in between a US oil company operating in Sudan and Israeli intelligence warned Washington that Omar al-Bashir was in the process of lining up behind Tehran’s anti-American campaign.
Our sources add that Sudan’s vice president Salva Kiir Mayardit, head of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), who has good relations with the Americans, has chosen to stay silent at this point and not demur against the new military pacts signed with Iran.

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