News

    New Report Finds More Weapons Flowing into Sudan, S. Sudan

    Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) soldier (2008 file photo)
    Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) soldier (2008 file photo)
    Alex Pena

    A new report shows more weapons flowing into the hands of rebel militias in Sudan and South Sudan in the past year.  The development threatens to increase tensions between two countries that have clashed repeatedly since the south declared independence last year. 

    The report published Friday by the Small Arms Survey, an organization monitoring the flow of weapons in the region, says funding is coming from both countries and putting more weapons in the hands of rebels on both sides of the border.  

    Jonah Leff, project coordinator for the Small Arms Survey in Sudan and South Sudan, says this report is significant in terms of sorting out accusations in the proxy wars going on between the two countries since they spilt in July.

    “We’ve been hearing allegations of support from Khartoum to rebel groups for months, if not years, and I think what this does is it offers some concrete evidence that lends credibility to those allegations," Leff said. "At the same time, the North’s [Sudan’s] claim that the SPLA is supporting the SPLM north on the other side of the border, we tend to also confirm that that is happening as well.”

    Using different tracing techniques, the monitoring group says hundreds of weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition said to be collected from rebel militias by South Sudan’s Army, the SPLA, can be linked back to the government of Khartoum - making them the primary weapon supplier to rebels in the new country.

    One Khartoum-funded militia operating in South Sudan, called the South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA), has told the Small Arms Survey their supply line from Sudan includes over 125 assault rifles, machine guns, around 10 RPG’s (rocket-propelled grenades), mortars and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

    And according to Leff, even though rebel activity is down this year, the new supply of weapons is alarming.

    “For the most part the weapons are the same, but there have been larger caliber weapons that have been supplied last year in comparison to previous years," he explained. "Rebel groups are yielding more heavy machine guns, which, at least in South Sudan, we didn’t see as much of that. Ordinarily it was assault rifles and smaller weapons. We’ve even seen a number of mid-caliber mortars.”

    Juba and Khartoum have both accused the other of funding rebels operating in their respective countries.

    Leff says the accusations have been a divisive factor in talks between the two countries in an ongoing oil dispute and other issues left unresolved following the south’s declaration of independence.

    “As long as each side is supporting rebel forces on the other’s territory, I don’t see that will pave the way for any kind of fruitful discussion over oil or border demarcation,” Leff said.

    Officials on both sides had reported progress in the talks until this week, when militaries from both countries clashed in the oil producing area of Heglig north of the border.

    Both militaries reportedly pulled back from the conflict zone in recent days.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora