UN Accuses Israel of Suppling South Sudan with Weapons
A confidential report from the United Nations accuses Israel of fuelling the civil war in South Sudan, according to reports.
According to AFP, the report confirms substantial evidence that proves arms deals took place between the two countries, even before South Sudan broke out into civil war in December 2013.
Israel, Bulgaria accused
The report also names Bulgaria as a supplier of weapons to South Sudan, according to AFP.
For years, members of the international community have asked where South Sudan’s supply of weapons is coming from. Despite various sanctions placed against the country, nothing has stopped the flow of weapons pouring into the war-torn nation.
Official bodies, including the UN, have previously accused Israel of supplying South Sudan with weapons but so far failed to prove anything.
However, the report in question claims to have traced Israeli-made weapons moving from eastern Europe to South Sudan, via eastern Africa.
“This evidence illustrates the well-established networks through which weapons procurement is coordinated from suppliers in eastern Europe and the Middle East and then transferred through middlemen in eastern Africa to South Sudan,” the report says.
Rebels using Israeli weapons, too
With South Sudan’s source of weapons apparently confirmed, there’s hope an arms embargo could now make a positive difference in the country.
“I think an arms embargo should happen now and that’s even very late,” UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous told reporters on Tuesday. “The rainy season is coming to a close and that has frequently been the time of the year when people go back to military operations,” he said.
However, the big question in South Sudan’s weapons supply wasn’t where the government was getting arms from – but how rebel leader Riek Machar and his supporters were managing to arm themselves. The UN says fighters loyal to Macher recently arrived in the Democratic Republic of Congo, also armed with Israeli-made rifles. The panel says those weapons belonged to a larger stock sold to Uganda in 2007.
The report says these weapons were likely taken from South Sudanese government stocks, which would back up Machar’s previous claims that he had stolen President Kiir’s weapons to use against him.