Armed rebels fighting in Sudan are being supplied ammunition by a Ukrainian weapon company, a Russian Newspaper has revealed. Artillery systems and small arms were imported into Sudan with assistance of intermediaries through the territory of Eritrea.
Russian newspaper, Vremya Novostei, quoted a report saying that a batch of Ukrainian small arms and ammunition, as well as anti-personnel mines and antitank mines were delivered to theGovernment of South Sudan (GoSS) through a private company registered in an offshore zone.
The newspaper further says that this month the Sudanese government will receive a 100 T-72M tanks from the Ukrainian company Ukrspetsexport. The latter is shipping the tanks to Port Sudan in accordance with a contract signed in 2009 worth $70 million.
The sale or supply of arms and military equipment to all warring parties in the Darfur region is prohibited by the UN Security Council resolution 1556 and 1591 adopted in five years ago, however, this embargo has not stopped Ukraine from furnishing the embattled African nation with arms.
Last year a UN panel of experts revealed that an increasing portion of ammunition and military-adapted vehicles used by all parties during the the conflict were produced after the arms embargo was imposed.
Violation of embargo
The Kanwa Defense Review Monthly magazine in its last year report on small arms, claimed that militaries in north and south Sudan were engaged in an arms race that risks plunging the nation back into civil war ahead of elections and self determination referendum.
The report also incriminated China and Iran, accusing them of being the main sources of weapons that were adding to turmoil in the country. According to the magazine, last year, China sold Sudan an unknown number of WS-2 multi-launch rocket systems. This is the first time this system is exported by China to any country.
Ukraine has been a silent perpetrator of African conflict through its policy of arms proliferation. In 2008 Somali pirates hijacked a Ukrainian ship carrying 33 Soviet-era T-72 tanks plus other weapons. Its seizure drew international attention, not only for its military cargo, but for a regional row over the destination of the tanks. While Kenya said it bought the tanks for its army, foreign diplomats said the arms were bound for south Sudan.
In 2009, a Ukrainian plane, loaded with ammunition, allegedly heading for the militants in the Niger Delta, was detained in Nigeria.
source: Afrik.com/Sudan Tribune