Russia sells 12 fighter jets to Sudan: reports
MOSCOW (AFP) — Russia has sold 12 MiG-29 fighter jets to Sudan, Sudanese Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Mohammed Hussein said during a visit to Moscow on Friday, Russian news agencies reported.
"Yes, it's all done. The planes have been bought," the defence minister was quoted as saying to reporters at a briefing in Moscow, in response to a question about a contract for the purchase of the 12 planes.
"We are very satisfied with our military relations with Russia," he said.
Hussein also said he hoped Russia would take a more active role in Sudan's oil industry, adding that this would be at the heart of discussions during an upcoming visit to Moscow by Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir.
He did not say when the visit could take place.
"Based on our successful experience of economic development cooperation with China, we want Russia to be another pillar in the economic development of Sudan," Hussein said.
Russia was accused by human rights group Amnesty International last year of violating a UN resolution by supplying arms to Sudan that were then used in the war-torn Darfur region, a charge rejected by Russia's foreign ministry.
The UN imposed an embargo on sales and deliveries of arms to Darfur in 2004.
Some 300,000 people have died in the civil war in Darfur since 2003 and two million more have fled their homes, according to UN figures, although some sources put the toll much higher while Sudan says 10,000 people have died.
Sudan's Beshir earlier this month declared a ceasefire in Darfur, but the main rebel movement in the region, the Justice and Equality Movement, dismissed his call as a propaganda stunt for the West.