The Military

Following the CPA, there is a national army of Sudan composed of the Sudanese Peoples' Liberation Army (SPLA) and the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF). These are in the interim period operating separately and have no internal law and order mandate except in constitutionally specified emergencies. However, their operations are coordinated by the Joint Defense Board (JDB) under the Presidency, and comprised of the Chiefs of Staff of the two forces, their deputies and other senior officers. The JDB takes decisions by consensus and is chaired alternately by the respective Chiefs of Staff.


There are also Joint/Integrated Units (JIUs) composed of equal numbers from SPLA and SAF in the interim period. This unit would form the nucleus of the national armed forces in case the referendum results confirm unity. If the referendum results point otherwise then the units will be dissolved forthwith and the component parts absorbed into their respective forces. The JIUs perform the following functions:


  1. symbol of national unity during the interim period;
  2. symbol of sovereignty during the interim period;
  3. participate in the defence of the country together with the two forces;
  4. provide a nucleus of a post interim period future army of the Sudan should the vote of referendum confirm unity; and
  5. get involved in the reconstruction of the country.


SPLA soldiers marching in a past event


Following the ceasefire, both forces have been proportionally downsizing over time. The soldiers demobilized during the downsizing process have been absorbed in various government institutions and services such as the civil service, police, prison, and wildlife services, among others. Similarly, all the other independent or affiliated armies have also been disbanded and the members absorbed in other institutions.



This article was updated on May 18, 2010