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The Military Museum

By: Aisha Braima

KHARTOUM (SUDANOW)—History has recorded rare heroic stances for our armed forces both at home and abroad since their participation in World War II. And the Sudanese soldier has been renowned for bravery, steadfastness, perseverance and intrepidity before the enemy.
The military command paid much concern with documentation of the history of the Sudanese army and the weapons, equipment and machinery the Sudanese soldier used over the different epochs of history and collected them in a separate military museum under the Armed Forces General Command.
SUDANOW had a chat with Major-General (psc) Dr. Omar Al-Nour Ahmed, Director of the Military History, Museums and Exhibitions Administration, for a briefing on the history of the Museum, its contents and future plans for its development.

The interview ran as follows:
SUDANOW: Can you please tell us about the beginning and developments of the Military Museum?
Dr. Ahmed: The museum was an old idea held by the Armed Forces but has recently materialized. At first it was established as a section of the Military Research Administration that dealt with the military history and, as the Armed Forces were preoccupied with the war operations in the South, the establishment of the National Museum was delayed until the beginning of 1998 when it was set up as an independent unit named the National Museum and placed at that time under the Deputy Chief-of-Staff for Guidance. Then it was upgraded as an administration named the Military History, Museums and Exhibitions Administration and was placed under the responsibility of the Deputy Chief of the Joint Staff.
At first the Administration was placed in a small building within the General Command Headquarters before it was moved to present building of the former River Transport on the eastern bank of the Blue Nile in Khartoum. The new headquarters is on a spacious site overlooking the Blue Nile with an easy access to both military and civilian visitors.


المتحف الحربى6

Italian canon
Italian canon
Mortar captured by the Mahadists from Slatin Pasha, an Austrian soldier in the service of England in the Sudan
Mortar captured by the Mahadists from Slatin Pasha, an Austrian soldier in the service of England in the Sudan
President Nemeri's armored Mercedes
President Nemeri's armored Mercedes



Q:- What are the present components of the Military Museum?
A:- The Museum consists of a gallery called General Mohamed Pasha Hall, named after the first Sudanese General Commander who took over from the British. In turn, it consists of four pavilions: The first one is Brigadier Zain Al-Abdin's Pavilion which contains a great number of rare historic photographs depicting successive historic epochs starting from the British rule and going through the Sudanization, General Ibrahim Abboud's, Marshal Jaafer Nimeiry, Marshal Swar Al-Dahab and the current Marshal Omar al-Bashir's era.
The second one is General Al-Fatih Busharah Pavilion which contains ammunition and weapons belonging to successive eras, including the ancient stone weapons, the traditional automatic rifles, Mark Ten and Mark Five until the modern weapons.
The third pavilion is the one which is named after Major General Mahmoud Abdul Rahman al-Fakki that specializes in the uniforms which worn by the Sudanese troops throughout different epochs starting from the Funj Sultanate, through the Mahdist regime, the Sudan Defense Force, the Armed Forces, the People's Armed Forces and until today.
The fourth pavilion is the one carrying the name of Brigadier Abdul Wahab al-Bakre which contains medals, decorations, documentary notes, gifts and artifacts beside a section containing belongings of Martyr Al-Zubair Mohamed Salih.
These galleries were named after those commanders in recognition of the significant roles they played in the establishment of the Military Museum and their remarkable contribution to dissemination of the Military Museum culture by issuing relevant publications which we review later on.


Q: You have kindly given us an idea about the exhibits inside the Museum, but in the front yard we noticed a presentation of planes and tanks. Which eras do those exhibits belong to?
A: Yes, the open exhibition in the yard consists of old planes used to be possessed by the Sudanese army but have now become antiquities along with a number of armored vehicles, personnel carriers and some guns and other weapons used in World War II and afterwards.

An Egyptian gift 1951
An Egyptian gift 1951
Top photo: General Mohamed Pasha
Top photo: General Mohamed Pasha
First prime minister saying farewell to the last British governor
First prime minister saying farewell to the last British governor
Turkish mortar
Turkish mortar



Q: There are some sites of famous battles in which the Sudanese soldier demonstrated remarkable bravery and won those battles. Does the administration of the Military Museum have any relationship with those sites?
A: Yes. Concern is being accorded to those sites which we preserve by fencing them, like the Tabya in Omdurman, the Gadambaliyah Battle in east Sudan and Abutlaihah Battle in Matammah, River Nile State.

Q: Are there branches for the Military Museum in the armed forces divisions in the states?
A: Yes. Each division has its own military museum, like the Eastern Division in Gedaref, the Third Northern Division in Shendi and the Fifth Hajjanah (Camel Corps) Division in El Obaid, North Kordofan state. We are planning to `assemble the museum exhibits of the joint land, marine and air forces.

Q: Are there any plans for development of the Military Museum in a way to make it attractive to tourists?
A: Yes. We have an ambitious plan we have partially begun implementation which provides for establishment of a landscape along the Blue Nile bank that consists of theatres, child games and modern cafeterias, other different activities. Moreover, there is an aquatic plan which we have also begun by assembling river vessels as part of the Nile tourist project which also includes museums in ships on the Nile.

Q: Can the military documents be kept inside the Museum?
A: Yes. We have already begun collecting the military and security documents and protocols concluded with sisterly and friendly countries to keep in the Museum.


Q: Are there publications which belong to the Military Museum?
A: Yes. There is a biannual publication which has begun issuing since 1998 specialized in investigation and documentation of the military history.





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MAS/ AS

Sudanow is the longest serving English speaking magazine in the Sudan. It is chartarized by its high quality professional journalism, focusing on political, social, economic, cultural and sport developments in the Sudan. Sudanow provides in depth analysis of these developments by academia, highly ...

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