South Sudan: Rebels Armed By Sudan, Eritrea – Small Arms Survey

Juba — Rebels fighting the South Sudan government are receiving weapons and ammunition from Sudan and Eritrea, says a report by Small Arms Survey; an independent research project in Geneva. The group's evidence also suggests close

Juba — Rebels fighting the South Sudan government are receiving weapons and ammunition from Sudan and Eritrea, says a report by Small Arms Survey; an independent research project in Geneva.

The group’s evidence also suggests close ties between South Sudan’s army and the Sudanese rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, that is fighting the Khartoum government in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile border states.

Jonah Leff, the Small Arms Survey’s Sudan Human Security Baseline Assessment Projector Coordinator, told Sudan Tribune that the support of rebels on both sides is “a symptom of the greater issue, which is oil and land”.

Sudan and South Sudan has persistently accused each other of supporting rebels seeking to unseat the governments in Khartoum and Juba. Each side routinely dismissed the allegations.

A dispute over border areas and oil has led to further deterioration of relations between the two countries. Last week the South Sudanese army (SPLA) claimed to have overrun Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) in oil-producing town of Heglig.

The SPLA has asserted that recent SAF border attacks have included South Sudanese rebel groups.

“Extreme elements within both governments do not want to make any concessions, and will do what they can to disrupt the peace process and negotiations over oil. Support for rebels is one way of doing this,” Leff added.

The April 2012 Small Armed Survey report lists Sudan and Eritrea as the “likely source” of arms to militia groups in South Sudan.

Evidence from interviews conducted and rifles seized from rebels of South Sudan Democratic Movement (SSDM) and South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA) in Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity states matched those in the hands of SAF, the survey claims.

The SSLA denies claims it is supported by Khartoum.

“In addition to Khartoum, Asmara [Eritrea] is emerging as a likely source […] for weapons supplied to Southern rebels,” the report claims.

Ammunition confiscated by the SPLA from the late George Athor’s SSDM forces in Jonglei were identical to rounds were also found with Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) reportedly supplied by Eritrea.

Last month, Small Arms Survey reported that the SPLA supplied rifles to the Nuer White Army in Jonglei state. This was denied by SPLA spokesperson Philip Aguer.

Sudan Tribune

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28 COMMENTS
  • Semhar April 19, 2012

    ISAYAS is #1 enemy of ERITREA.•

    He is giving land of the native Eritreans to immigrants.
    • (He gave most of meret dekebat Barka ni korakuru, his followers.)
    • He went to war AGAINT ETHIOPIA !998 2000’
    • He went to war against YEMEN lost our Islands.
    • He went to war against DJEBOUTI.
    • He went to war against SUDAN.
    • He is arming ALSHEBAB a terrorist organization in SOMALIA.

    He is charging $3000 per person to smuggle them to neighboring country Sudan.
    He then turn around and jail their parents and charge them $50,000 Nakfa per person.
    He charges all ERITREANS abroad 2% of their 20 years income!

    • GOOD MAN April 19, 2012

      Semhar, you are like your name semhar. Thank you for the facts. I agree with you 100%. He is the #1 enemy of the country and the people. Semhare you are doing a good job, for that I love you. It is time for us to be reminded by the facts, and to carry on with our action plan. We are fed up with the dillydayllying pussyfooting, compromising approach that we have been using toward getting our freedom. We want freedom now we’ve got to fight until we overcome. People it is time for action. You all come out of the closet and sing with me, that the people need’s regime change. Eretrawee, where ever you are join the freedom fight and stand up for justice.

  • Semhar April 19, 2012

    • He is giving land of the native Eritreans to immigrants.
    • (He gave most of meret dekebat Barka ni korakuru, his followers.)

    • He went to war AGAINT ETHIOPIA !998 2000’
    • He went to war against YEMEN lost our Islands.
    • He went to war against DJEBOUTI.
    • He went to war against SUDAN.
    • He is arming ALSHEBAB a terrorist organization in SOMALIA.

    He is charging #3000 per person to smuggle them to neighboring country Sudan.
    He then turn around and jail their parents and charge them $50,000 Nakfa per person.
    He charges all ERITREANS abroad 2% of their 20 years income!

  • Semhar April 19, 2012

    ISAYAS is #1 enemy of ERITREA.

    This is the moment we must come together to save our land and our people.

    Let freedom ring in Akeleguzay!
    Let freedom ring in Barka!
    Let freedom ring in Denkel!
    Let freedom ring in Hamasien!
    Let freedom ring in Sahil!
    Let freedom ring in Semhar!
    Let freedom ring in Senhit!
    Let freedom ring in Seraye!

    Let freedom ring in ERITREA!

    Let freedom ring allover Eritrea!
    Let’s LIVE FREE OR DIE with dignity.
    Our martyrs did not die to crown the tyrant.
    We must reclaim our flag, our constitution, Highi Indaba, our land (our original provinces), our people, and our culture.
    DISTROY the dictator ISAYAS and his terrorist organization the PFDJ where ever they are.
    Eritrea will be free soon!

    • GOOD MAN April 19, 2012

      Semhar you make my day. You are a red-pull. Thank you Semhar.

  • papirazzi April 20, 2012

    In addition to Khartoum, Asmara is emerging as a likely source or intermediary for weapons supplied to Southern rebels. As noted in Table 2, the SPLA confiscated a Chinese manufactured Type 69 RPG round with lot number ‘8_91_93’ from Athor’s forces in Jonglei in February 2011. Eritrea reportedly supplied identical rounds, bearing the same
    lot number, which were seized from Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) forces in Somalia in September 2010. Athor reportedly visited Asmara at least three times in 2010-11. Reports also emerged from Jonglei alleging that he purchased arms from a Nuer
    named Thokwath Pal Chai, leader of the Asmara-supported Ethiopian United Patriotic Front in the area of Gambella, Ethiopia. There is no independent confirmation of this.Credible sources report that Eritrea has supplied weapons direct to the SSDA. While the Small Arms Survey has not been able to confirm this, the correlation between the two samples of RPG rounds strongly suggests a common source. Other sources, such
    as the SPLA, are apparent.

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