MAF’s first regular flight operations in Sudan commenced in 1950. Many thousands of hours were flown serving the people and government of Sudan until fourteen years later, in 1964, missionaries were asked to leave the country and the MAF programme closed. Operations re-commenced in 1976 and, after a further 7 years, the programme was closed again due to government restrictions.
In 1993, flights in support of relief and development agencies operating in Southern Sudan were restarted out of our Kenya bases in Nairobi and Lokichoggio. By 2000, the number of flights had significantly increased and a formal agreement was signed between the UN World Food Programme, ACROSS, Medair and MAF to allow two MAF aircraft to fly under UN call signs and to carry UN markings under the auspices of Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS). Flying hours continued to increase and additional air support for work in the southern part of the country was provided by our Uganda programme.
A base in Juba
The January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) formally ended the war between the Khartoum government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army - Africa's longest civil conflict. Several NGOs and the UN moved into Juba, the new capital of Southern Sudan, and on 1 March 2006 MAF opened a programme in Juba as well, registering as an NGO with the Government of Southern Sudan in May 2006. In 2009 the Sudan programme became a sub-base of the Kenya programme, with one of their aircraft based in Juba.
In January of 2011 the people of Southern Sudan voted to establish their own country, and in July South Sudan became the newest nation in the world.During this time MAF began expansion of the Juba base, with a second aircraft being deployed and a small office at the airport being established. New facilities and housing were completed in 2013. On 1 January 2014 MAF South Sudan became its own programme within MAF International, with aircraft maintenance support provided by our Kenyan programme.