News / Africa

New Report Links Arms Trading, S. Sudan Conflict

FILE - Jikany Nuer White Army fighters hold their weapons in Upper Nile State, February 2014.
FILE - Jikany Nuer White Army fighters hold their weapons in Upper Nile State, February 2014.
Gabe Joselow
A report released by the Small Arms Survey documents evidence Sudan has been the primary supplier of mostly Chinese-made weapons to insurgent groups going back to conflicts surrounding South Sudan's eventual independence in 2011.

Report co-author Jonah Leff said those actions have helped supply armed groups involved in current fighting between South Sudan's government and rebel forces.

“A lot of the weapons that are circulating with the rebels, but also with the tribal militias such as the White Army and the Nuer youth, originate in Sudan," said Leff. "So a couple of years ago there were examples of Sudan arming various rebel groups that were then supplying these weapons on to tribal militias, and we have seen a number of these popping up.”

Simmering dispute

The White Army is an informal militia from the ethnic Nuer community that has supported rebel leader Riek Machar, also a Nuer.

A political dispute between Machar and President Salva Kiir, a Dinka, erupted in violence in December, dividing the armed forces along ethnic lines.

Leff said both sides of the conflict appear to be equally well-armed, as they originated from the same army. The question, he said, is how rebels have been able to re-supply ammunition.

“There have been ongoing battles since the middle of December, and there is no way they would have had sufficient quantities,  stockpiles of ammunition to sustain that fighting,” she said.

Chinese, Iranian arms

Leff said Sudan still could be supplying group's linked to Machar, but he said getting access to equipment seized from the rebels is a challenge.

The report finds the majority of weapons, such as assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers imported by Sudan, are made in China, with a percentage coming from Iran. Sudan also is increasingly manufacturing its own weapons.

Sudan is under an arms embargo applied only to the Darfur region to limit supplies of weapons to government-aligned militia. A previous Small Arms Survey report in 2012 noted that despite the ban, all sides in that conflict “continued to gain access to military resources.”

Meanwhile, the report says that tracing arms flows is becoming more difficult as serial numbers and other identifying marks are being deliberately scraped off of weapons found in conflict zones.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Dut Mawien from: USA
May 13, 2014 8:39 AM
It's obvious that Khartoum is meddling in S Sudan affairs. The rebel are getting their supplies from Sudan.


by: Jany Tot from: Kakuma refugee camp,kenya
May 13, 2014 2:46 AM
S.Sudan white-army do not fight on behave of former vice-president,Riek machar but they fight 4 what KIIR did 2 nuer civilians in Juba capital.including:raping, killing of women,children and studants.


by: Anonymous from: Kakuma,kenya
May 13, 2014 2:26 AM
I don't that is true.rebels got those weapons when they depeat the SPLA-Kiir and sieze certian town like Malakal.Sudan never suport rebels in s.sudan.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid