Minister of Defence (Sudan)

The Minister of Defence of the Republic of Sudan is the government minister responsible for the Ministry of Defence and the Sudanese Armed Forces.

After independence, Prime Minister Abdallah Khalil, secretary of the Umma Party, was also serving as Minister of Defence.[1]

The President of Sudan has been responsible for appointing the Minister of Defence. Then-Colonel Jaafar Nimeiri came to power in the 1969 Sudanese coup d'état. Khalid Hassan Abbas was appointed as Minister of Defense on 29 October 1969[2] following a cabinet reshuffle implemented to strengthen the army's control over the Sudanese government. Abbas was an anti-Mahdist and non-communist. As Defense Minister he, alongside Babiker, would push President Nimeiri to adopt a more aggressive response to the rising threat to the government posed by the Ansar movement, resulting in the brutal crackdown seen on Aba Island in 1970.[3] Abbas served as Defense Minister until 16 April 1972,[4] at which point Nimeiri took over the role.

U.S. personnel met Defence Minister General Abdul Majid Hamid Khalil (known in the Sudan as Abdul Majid) in 1979.[5][6] Two days after the signing of the peace agreement between Ahmed al-Mirghani and John Garang on 16 November 1988, a Sudanese Air Force Lockheed C-130 Hercules carrying Abdul Majid from Wau to Khartoum, together with the Army Commander-in-Chief, General Fathi Ahmed Ali, was hit by a missile, knocking out one of its engines.[7] In January 1982, President Nimeiri again assumed the office himself after retiring Abdul Majid, who had been simultaneously First Vice President, Minister of Defence, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and secretary-general of the single ruling Sudan Socialist Union (SSU) party.[8]

Nimeiri had served himself as Minister of Defence for long stretches in 1972-73 (promoted himself General in 1973), 1975-76, and 1978-79 after retiring other ministers. From 1976-78, the Minister of Defence has usually held the rank of General, when Bashir Mohamed Ali held the position.[9]

After the overthrow of General Ibrahim Abboud's regime in October 1964, Lieutenant General El Khawad Mohmamed was appointed as a member of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and commander-in-chief of the Sudanese Armed Forces.[10]

Since the accession of the Sovereignty Council of Sudan after the fall of Omar al-Bashir in 2019, the position is now technically vacant.[citation needed] The effective commander-in-chief of the armed forces is Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, former head of the Transitional Military Council.

Ministers of Defence have included:[11]

No. Name Term Party/Notes
1 Ismail Al-Azhari 17 November 1955 - 2 February 1956 Civilian
2 Abdallah Khalil 3 February 1956 to 17 November 1958 Civilian
3 Brigadier Ibrahim Abboud 18 November 1958 - 21 October 1964 Abboud Govt; Later promoted
4 Secret seal of the Caliph to 7 June 1965 Sirr Al-Khatim Al-Khalifa?; Prime Minister of the first and second transitional government of October (1964-1965)
5 Mohamed Ahmed Mahgoub 8 June 1965 - 5 May 1966
6 Amin Al-Tom Sati 5 May 1966 - 27 July 1966
7 Abdullah Abdul Rahman abdalramn nogd Allah 28/7/1966 to 12/14/1966
8 Ahmed Abdel Rahman abdalrhman al-Mahdi 15 December 1966 - 15 July 1967 al-Mahdi Govt
9 Adam Musa Madbou musa madibo 16/5/1967 - 26 May 1968
10 Mohamed Ahmed Al-Mahjoub 27/5/1968 to 5/25/1969
  • Colonel Jaafar Nimeiri for the period 25/5/1969 - 19/6/1969
  • Brigadier Omar Hajj Moussa for the period 20/6/1969 - 10/28/1969
  • Major General Khalid Hassan Abbas for the period 10/29/1969 - 16/4/1972
  • Major General Jaafar Nimeiri for the period 17/4/1972 - 7/10/1973
  • Lieutenant General Awad Khallafalla for the period 8/10/1972 - 25/10/1975 (Air Force officer, "pilot corner team") Note that as part of the U.S. diplomatic cables leak, it was disclosed that the United States Embassy Khartoum had dispatched a message saying that as of November 7, 1974, General Awad Khallafalla had been dismissed as Minister of Defence and Commander-in-Chief of the Sudanese Armed Forces, retired, and been appointed as an advisor on military and aviation affairs in the office of the presidency.<re>U.S. Embassy Khartoum, Changes in Sudanese Army, November 8, 1974, KHARTO02509.</ref>
  • Jaafar Nimeiri for the period 10/26/1975 - 9/8/1976
  • General Bashir Mohamed Ali for the period 10/8/1976 - 1 February 1979
  • General Jaafar Nimeiri for the period 2 February 1979 - 28 April 1979
  • General Abdul Majid Hamid Khalil for the period 5/29/1979 - 25/1/1983. Formerly Commander Port Sudan Area
  • Field Marshal Jaafar Nimeiri for the period January 26, 1982 - March 3, 1985.
  • Lieutenant General Abdel Rahman Swar al-Dahab for the period 3/3/1985 - 6/4/1985.[12]
  • Field Marshal Abdel Rahman Swar al-Dahab for the period April 6, 1985 - April 22, 1985, as Chair of the Transitional Military Council
  • Major General A.H. / Othman Abdullah Muhammad for the period 4/22/1985 - 3/5/1986.
  • Sadiq Al-Mahdi for the period 4/5/1986 - 14/5/1988.
  • Abdul Majid Hamed Khalil for the period 15/5/1988 to 25/4/1989.
  • Major General Othman Mubarak Rahma for the period 4/26/1989-30/6/1989[13]
  • Brigadier, later Staff Lieutenant General Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir for the period 1 July 1989 - 19 October 1993. Previously Airborne Forces; Commander, 8th Infantry Brigade, as a Brigadier, 1987 - 30 June 1989.[14]
  • Staff General Hassan Abdel-Rahman Ali hasaan for the period 10/10/1993 to 8/3/1998
  • Staff Lieutenant General Ibrahim Suleiman Hass for the period 3/3/1998 to 6/3/1999
  • Staff Lieutenant General Abdul Rahman Sir Al Seal for the period 7/7/1999 to 7/7/2000
  • Major General / Bakri Hassan Saleh for the period 11/7/2000 to 21/9/2005
  • Lieutenant General Abdel Rahim Eng abd alrahem Hamad Hussein for the period 9/22/2005 to 2/3/2006 (Air Force, Engineer Branch?)
  • General Abdul abd alrahem mohamed Rahim Muhammad Hussain for the period 2/3/2006 - onwards (Air Force, Engineer Branch?)


  1. ^, p.17
  2. ^ "عن الوزارة". Archived from the original on 2018-08-12. Retrieved 2020-01-18.
  3. ^ Collins, Robert O. (2008). A History of Modern Sudan. Cambridge University Press. p. 98. ISBN 9780521858205.
  4. ^ International Who's Who 1972-73
  5. ^ 04136
  6. ^ Previously reported in U.S. State Department cables as a Major General and Deputy Chief of Staff, SAF, in 1978.
  7. ^ Mansour Khalid, "War and Peace in the Sudan," Routledge 2012, 184, 186.
  8. ^ Nelson, Harold D., ed. (1982). Sudan, a country study. Vol. 550, no. 27. Library of Congress Country Studies. Headquarters, Department of the Army. pp. 260, 266.
  9. ^ Country Study 1982, 266.
  10. ^ Reuters, The New Africans, Paul Hamlyn, London, 1967, 414.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-04-17. Retrieved 2014-04-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ Note that Biel, Melha Rout (2008). Elite im Sudan: Bedeutung, Einfluss und Verantwortung (in German). Peter Lang. ISBN 9783631571156. appears to give a less correct appointment date as Minister of Defence in 1984.
  13. ^ Note that Othman is listed as a retired General, independent from any party, as part of the Fifth Council of Ministers in Lesch, Ann Mosely (1998). The Sudan: Contested National Identities. James Currey Publishers. p. 225. ISBN 9780852558232.
  14. ^ Coup announcement and assumption of role as Minister of Defence by Brigadier al-Bashir cited in Cowell, Alan (1 July 1989). "Military Coup in Sudan Ousts Civilian Regime". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 July 2008.

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