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Bashir: US seeks to break Sudan into 5 countries

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Sudan leader reveals he discussed military base creation with Putin.

Sudanese President Omar Bashir has given an exclusive interview to Sputnik, speaking on the possible military cooperation with Russia, as well as on the situation in the country’s hotspot, the Darfur region. He has also accused the US government of “devastating” the Arab world.

“We have information that the US aspiration is to split Sudan into five countries, if we do not find protection,” Sudanese President Omar Bashir told Sputnik, adding that Sudan faces “major pressure and conspiracy from the United States.”

Washington has “devastated the Arab world,” Bashir pointed out, citing the situation in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen as examples.

During this week’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Bashir stated that his country needed protection from “US aggression,” emphasizing that the Sudanese president said the secession of South Sudan was related to US policies.

South Sudan gained its independence from the Republic of Sudan in 2011 after 98.8 percent of voters supported the move at a referendum.

Military Base Creation and Russian Arms Supplies

Commenting on his visit to Russia, the Sudanese leader stated that he had “discussed” the establishment of a military base on the Red Sea coast with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

Commenting on defense cooperation with Russia, Omar Bashir said Sudan was interested in purchasing Russia’s Su-30 and Su-35 fighter jets as well as S-300 air defense systems, adding that the African country “does not have any intentions to wage aggression abroad, we want to protect our country.”

According to the president, Sudan still uses old air defense systems manufactured in the Soviet Union, adding that the country was also interested in the acquisition of missile boats and mine sweepers.

The interview comes few days after Omar Bashir arrived in Russia for the first time ever in order to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to discuss defense and economic cooperation between the two countries.

On the Situation in the Darfur Region

Omar Bashir has also commented on the situation in the rebellious Sudanese region of Darfur, saying that it has stabilized, with militants laying down arms within the framework of a state program.

“We are able to say now that peace in Darfur has been reached. There is no uprising in Darfur. We are carrying out a massive campaign on expropriating the weapons in the region, and the first stage has been very successful as the militants laid down their weapons voluntarily,” Bashir said.

The president added that the region was secure now, and “the return of many displaced people proves that.”

The conflict in Darfur began in the 1980s and escalated dramatically in 2003 when rebel groups launched a campaign to topple the Arab government. In 2007, the UN Security Council and the African Union sent a joint peacekeeping mission to the region, extending the mission’s mandate to June 2018 but cutting personnel.

READ: SUDAN’S PRESIDENT TO PUTIN: ‘WE NEED PROTECTION FROM US AGGRESSIVE ACTIONS’

Russian President Vladimir Putin has held a meeting with his Sudanese counterpart, discussing bilateral cooperation and regional security.

“In the end, it turned out that our country split into two parts, which resulted in a worsening of the situation, and as a result, we need protection from the aggressive actions of the United States,” Sudanese President Omar Bashir said Thursday at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Speaking about the situation in the Red Sea, the president has stated that the US interference is a problem, while it is necessary to discuss the issue from the viewpoint of using bases in the region.

According to the Sudanese president, his country is opposed to US intervention in the domestic affairs of Arab countries, particularly Iraq and Syria.

“We believe that what is happening in Syria is also due to US intervention, and as a result, Syria has such a situation, we believe that peace can not be achieved without [Syrian President] Bashar Assad. We believe that if it were not for Russian intervention in the situation in Syria, then this country would be lost,” the Sudanese president explained.

On Defense and Economic Cooperation

Speaking about defense cooperation with Russia, Bashir noted that Sudan wants to strengthen its military attache presence in the country.

“As for defense industry cooperation, we must say that weapons we have both for ground and air forces are Russian-made. We had a very good meeting with the Russian defense minister this morning. We are launching a comprehensive program aimed at re-equipping our armed forces, and we have agreed with [the Russian] defense minister that Russia will assist us in this task.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his turn, said that the two countries had good prospects for economic cooperation in various fields, including the energy sector.

“We have good prospects in the economic sector. Regarding the energy sector, there are [prospects in] exploration, production and exchange of resources. There are prospects not only in the hydrocarbon industry, but also in the fields of electricity and development of the peaceful use of nuclear energy. All in all, there is a lot of [potential for] cooperation,” Putin said.

Sudanese President Omar Bashir is on his first visit to Russia, describing himself as a “key for Africa.”

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