Sudan boasts one of the region’s largest defence sectors but still imports a significant volume of military equipment and services from Russia, China and Iran. Over the longer term, as the country’s defence sector improves and it becomes more self sufficient, we expect there to be an increasing volume of defence exports, largely to the wider African region. A key driver behind the expansion of its military capabilities will remain the deteriorating situation in South Sudan and the ongoing violence between warring factions, opposition groups and government authorities. However, even though the country is looking for new export partners, we see little opportunity for foreign companies to set up in Sudan due to the dominance of the domestic Military Industry Corporation, and the continued sanctions against the country.
Much of Sudan’s imported small arms, light weapons, ammunition, rocket and grenade launchers have come from China in recent years; a trend we expect to continue as the need for large volumes of arms remains amidst continuing unrest. China has also reportedly provided training and technical support for Sudan’s own weapons production. Iran and Russia are also offering similar services, further improving the quality and expertise of Sudan’s domestic defence sector.