From THE EAST AFRICAN, BY: JOSEPH ODUHA, OCT/24/2016, SSN;
A confidential United Nations report accuses Israel of fueling the war in South Sudan through the sale of weapons to the government.
The Juba-based Miraya Radio said the report was discussed by the UN panel of experts last Thursday at a high level Security Council meeting.
According to the Miraya Radio, the report disclosed that there was substantial evidence to prove the arms deals between Israel and South Sudan, especially after the December 2013 outbreak of war in the later.
Bulgaria is also named in the report as an arms supplier to South Sudan.
“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.
It further says the bodyguards of former Vice-President Riek Machar, who were in the DR Congo, were armed with Israel-made automatic rifles that were part of a stock to Uganda in 2007.
The Bulgarian firm is also pointed in the report as delivering a shipment of small arms’ ammunition and 4,000 assault rifles to Uganda in July 2014, which were later transferred to South Sudan.
The South Sudan government was not yet to officially respond to the report.
South Sudanese government forces have acquired two jet fighters and truckloads of small arms ammunition and were seeking to manufacture bullets, while opposition troops have not received any significant arms shipments, UN sanctions monitors said in a confidential report seen by Reuters on Thursday.
They also said that armed government actors were imposing “debilitating movement restrictions” on UN peacekeepers and warned that the economy of the world’s newest nation has effectively collapsed due to government policies that include buying weapons instead of funding social services.
The report, on arms flows and security threats to South Sudan since a transitional government was formed in April, strengthens the case for an arms embargo, a move recommended by the monitors to the Security Council in January. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has also called for an arms embargo.
“There is no evidence to suggest that more weapons are required in South Sudan for the government to achieve a stable security environment,” the UN monitors said.
“Rather, the continued influx of weapons … contributes to spreading instability and the continuation of the conflict.”
They said that while Sudan had provided small arms, bullets and logistical support to opposition troops, they “found no evidence to date that Sudan – or any other neighbouring country – has provided heavy weapons … which has limited the opposition’s ability to mount large-scale operations.”
However, the monitors received reports that government troops have made significant, ongoing arms procurements including the likely recent acquisition of two L-39 fighter jets.
“While the panel has received preliminary reports from two sources that the jets were serviced and painted in Uganda, the panel has not yet been able to confirm their origin or if these jets have been purchased or are on loan,” the monitors said.
Two truckloads of ammunition were transferred to the capital Juba from Uganda in June, while late last year South Sudanese army chief Paul Malong asked a Lebanese company to begin developing a small ‘arms ammunition manufacturing facility in Juba, the monitors said.
“It is not clear from currently available information whether this project has proceeded in the intervening period,” they added.
In the wake of deadly violence in Juba in July, the council said it would discuss an arms embargo if Ban reports this month that the government was not cooperating with the deployment of 4,000 more peacekeepers and was obstructing 12,000 UN troops already on the ground. END