Addis Ababa, June 4, 2015 (SSNA) — South Sudanese armed oppostion has denied reports that most of its weapons and ammunition were airdropped to them by Khartoum’s regime in 2014.
Early this week, Conflict Armament Research (CAR), a UK-based military research institution which investigates weapons trafficking in active conflicts around the world, released a report, saying it found evidence which showed Sudan’s government supplied South Sudan’s armed opposition with weapons and ammunition.South
Sudan’s rebel Spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, on Thursday refuted the report, saying the military research group failed to take into account other useful evidence.
“We want to make it clear that even if the descriptions indicating sources of the weapons were to be true, this does not necessarily mean the weapons were delivered directly to our forces,” Gatdet, said in a statement.
Gatdet said when war broke out in late2013, South Sudanese national army (SPLA) divided itself into rival groups with some units joining the rebellion, adding that the rebel forces also managed to captured weapons and ammunition from government troops.
“When the crisis erupted in December 2013 the army began to split right from the national capital, Juba. In some areas as the fighting spread to states, forces that joined the opposition also managed to take weapons and ammunition with them. In the course of fighting, our forces have been also capturing weapons and ammunitions including tanks from President Salva Kiir’s government,” Gatdet explained.
“For those who may not know it, South Sudan government buys weapons from Sudan. They also buy others from China as revealed last year when a consignment of $38 worth of weaponry were shipped through Port Mombassa of Kenya destined for South Sudan,” he revealed.
The rebel Spokesman criticizes CAR’s report, saying seeing a Chinese or Sudanese manufactured weapon shouldn’t be used as evidence because the SPLA-IO has been seizing sizable quantities of weapons from Juba’s regime.
On Tuesday, the rebel military command of the SPLA-IO dismissed as “baseless” the CAR’s report and threatened to expose names of people it described as “foreign professionals with academic hoods” who are acting against its armed struggle against Juba.