CAIRO — Russian MiG-29 fighter-jets have been delivered to Sudan by way of Belarus.
Sudanese sources said 12 MiG-29s arrived from Belarus to Khartoum in
July 2008. The sources said Russia arranged the deal as part of an effort to
bolster Sudan's air combat capability.
"These are surplus MiG-29s and would probably be flown by non-Sudanese
soldiers, at least in the first stage," a Sudanese source said.
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On July 21, the Sudan Tribune reported that Khartoum received a secret
delivery of MiG-29s from an unidentified company in Belarus. The MiGs were
said to have been stationed in Sudan's Wadi Seidna air base.
Belarus, in cooperation with Moscow, has become a military supplier to
Sudan. In 2006, Khartoum signed a defense cooperation accord with Belarus
meant to include training, exchange of expertise and arms sales.
The government in Minsk has denied the report. Russia has denied arms
sales to Khartoum, under an international arms embargo.
This marked the second MiG-29 delivery to Khartoum in less than four
years. In 2004, Sudan received 12 MiG-29 fighters and an undetermined number
of Mi-24 attack helicopters from Moscow.
Sudan has used MiG-29s in the civil war in the western province of
Darfour. In May 2008, Darfour rebels shot down a MiG-29 near Khartoum and a
Russian pilot was killed.