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

    US Watching as North Korea Opens Biggest Political Meeting in Decades

    As Workers' Party Congress opens, Washington anticipating possibility of another missile launch or nuclear test as top officials gather

    Video Pop Icon Prince Quietly Helped Afghan Orphans for Years

    He sent thousands of dollars to help an aid group rebuild a training center for orphan boy and girl scouts in Kabul, but kept his involvement secret

    Britain’s Muslims See London Mayor Race as Victory

    Mere running of 45-year-old former government minister and son of Pakistani immigrants Sadiq Khan seen by many as turning point

    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.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labori
    X
    May 05, 2016 6:44 PM
    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labor

    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora