News / Africa

Amnesty International: Arms Imports Fuel S. Sudan Violence

A South Sudan's army, or the SPLA, soldier sits in a truck on the frontline in Panakuach, Unity State,April 24, 2012.
A South Sudan's army, or the SPLA, soldier sits in a truck on the frontline in Panakuach, Unity State,April 24, 2012.
Selah Hennessy
LONDON - In South Sudan both the army and rebel groups have imported weapons from overseas and used them in indiscriminate attacks against civilians, according to a report by Amnesty International published on Thursday.  Amnesty says the weapons were imported from China, Ukraine, and neighboring Sudan.

Khairunissa Dhala is a researcher on South Sudan at Amnesty International.

“There have been scores of civilians that have been injured and killed and had their properties destroyed due to indiscriminate attacks by South Sudan's armed forces, known as the SPLA, and the armed opposition group South Sudan Liberation Army between 2010 and 2011,” said Dhala.

The report looks at Mayom County in South Sudan’s Unity State, where Amnesty says dozens of people were killed or injured and others were forced to flee their homes.

According to Amnesty, the army used Ukrainian-supplied T-72 battle tanks in indiscriminate attacks against civilians.  

The report says the tanks arrived in South Sudan via Kenya and Uganda and that their transfer involved shipping companies from Germany and Ukraine and shell companies registered in Britain and the Isle of Man.

The rebels, it says, used Sudanese-manufactured ammunition and laid Chinese manufactured anti-vehicle mines on the roads.

The countries accused of selling the weapons have not commented on the allegations.

Amnesty’s researcher Dhala says the transfers should never have been made.

"No arms should be transferred where there is a substantial risk of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, which is the case is South Sudan," said Dhala.

Speaking to VOA, SPLA spokesperson Philip Aguer denies the report's findings.  He says South Sudan’s army had not violated human rights in Mayom County.

"SPLA was fighting in self-defense, which is our legitimate role to protect the territories of South Sudan," said Aguer.

Amnesty’s report comes ahead of arms trade negotiations due to start on Monday.  The talks, at United Nations headquarters in New York, are aimed at developing a multi-lateral treaty to regulate international arms sales.

Amnesty wants a robust treaty to be put in place, with rules that will stop arms transfers to countries that are likely to use them for serious violations of human rights or war crimes.

You May Like

Video 2nd American Reportedly Killed in Syria

Minnesota television report says Abdirahman Muhumed left area to fight for Islamic State militants More

WHO Fears Ebola Outbreak Could Infect 20,000 People

World Health Organization says outbreak 'continues to accelerate' but that most cases are concentrated in a few local areas More

Angelina Jolie Marries Brad Pitt

Actors wed in small private ceremony Saturday in France More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid