South Sudan

Machar Rebels Warn China on Arming Kiir


story geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>The rebel group led by former Vice President, Dr Riek Machar, said it was concerned by the massive shipments of arms to Juba and Beijing’s decision to increase the number of troops in South Sudan.

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“The leadership of SPLM/SPLA wishes to express its concerns on the role which China is playing in the current conflict in South Sudan,” said Mabior Garang Mabior, Chairperson SPLM National Committee for Information and Public Relations.

China Oil Company (CNPC) is the main operator in oil blocks 1,2, 4 and 5A in western oilfields in Unity State, and in blocks 3 and 7 in eastern oilfields in Upper Nile State.

Mabior, who is a son to SPLA founder, john Garang, said China is providing loans to Government of South Sudan to keep afloat the economy.

“China is also providing arms to fuel the conflict in South Sudan through its arms manufacturer – China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO). These loans and arms are guaranteed with oil as collateral. The Government has received the latest consignments of arms this July. Documents are available,” added Mabior.

The remarks come days after media reports indicated that South Sudan in July received a consignment of weapons to bolster its security services against Machar’s rebels.

The $38m delivery included tens of unspecified missiles, hundreds of grenade launchers, thousands of machine guns, rifles, pistols and about 7 million rounds of ammunitions.

Leaked security documents indicated the shipment of 9,574 automatic rifles, 2,394 grenade launchers, 4 million bullets for automatic rifles, 2 million rounds of pistol ammunition, 319 machine guns, 660 pistols, 20,000 rounds of 40-millimeter anti-personnel grenades and 4,000 rounds of 40-millimeter “heat rockets.”

Another packing list, detailing goods worth $14.5 million, included 100 anti-tank weapons systems, 1,200 anti-tank missiles and spare parts.

Mabior said the Juba government has armed militias using these arms on the battlefield especially in the oil production areas.

“China in the UN Security Council advocated deployment of more foreign troops in South Sudan to accommodate the IGAD protection forces. China is contributing 800 troops more to the energized UNMISS. In the last mandate the UNMISS troops are given protection of oil installations. China is also providing funds for the IGAD mediated peace talks on South Sudan. China is said to have paid over $3 million for support of the Peace Talks,” revealed Mabior.

“Our concern and question is: why is China supporting war effort and at the same time supporting peace talks?”

South Sudan is yet to respond to the accusations but President Salva Kiir recently said SPLA would defend the country’s territorial integrity.


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