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Israeli prosecutor defends arms export to South Sudan


August 12, 2017 (TEL AVIV) – The Israeli government has defended sale of arms to South Sudan, arguing that there was no evidence showing that either an individual or entity committed a criminal offence by exporting weapons to the war-torn East African country.

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Arms and light weapons have been used by both warring parties in South Sudan to commit abuses (Photo courtesy of SSANSA)

The assertion, Haaretz daily reported, follows a petition seeking a criminal investigation into Israeli arms sales to South Sudan and the suspicion that it constituted war crime and crime against humanity.

The petition, filed by 54 Israelis, concerns the sale of Israeli-made Galil ACE rifles sold to a militia associated with the South Sudanese government. The petitioners, through their lawyer Eitay Mack, reportedly claimed Israeli officials who dealt with the issue should have understood that there were risks associated with the rifles’ export.

In 2015, a United Nations Security Council report about the conflict in South Sudan said photographs showed South Sudanese officers and soldiers using the Ace, an advanced version of the Galil assault rifle.

The rifle, the report said, were produced by Israel weapon industries.

The civil war in South Sudan has gone on for nearly four years amid allegations of human rights violations, including the use of child soldiers. According to the UN report, all branches of South Sudan’s security forces are using the Ace, in its battle against local rebels.

Both sides involve in the conflict have been accused of human rights violations, in the two-year war, in documented claims of ethnic cleansing, systemic rape, recruitment of child soldiers and more.

In response, however, the state reportedly requested that the petition regarding the sale of weapons to South Sudan be dismissed.

“No evidence has been found of any defect in the judgment of the relevant parties,” Rachel Matar, head of the criminal division in the state prosecutor’s office wrote in a letter the Haaretz daily obtained.

“The acts of any Israeli party whatsoever constitute suspicion of the commission of a criminal offense,” further added the letter.

The Isareli defence minister, Matar said, provided information to the state prosecutor’s office on exports to South Sudan, and that military exports are to be judged on “considerations of the protection of human rights and the political situation in the relevant region.”

Data on arms sales to specific countries are kept secret, but overall sales to Africa reportedly increased dramatically in the years following South Sudan’s formation.

In 2009, Israel reportedly sold just $71 million worth of weapons to the continent. In 2013, that number more than tripled to $223 million, and it reached $318 million in 2014.

South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan in 2011. Two year later, a civil war broke out after President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy, Riek Machar and ten others of planning a coup. The conflict has since killed tens of thousands of people and displaced over two million civilians into neighbouring countries.


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  • 13 August 2017 05:32, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    Government of South Sudan didn’t made any requests of buying arms from Israel government.

    repondre message

    • 13 August 2017 12:04, by Mi diit

      This alone shows good evidence;
      In 2009, Israel reportedly sold just $71 million worth of weapons to the continent. In 2013, that number more than tripled to $223 million, and it reached $318 million in 2014.

      repondre message

      • 13 August 2017 12:55, by South South

        Israel has all rights to sell out its weapons to other countries in the world if the relationship is there. South Sudan is the best friend of Israel, so what is new rebels? Lick your own wounds if things are hot now.

        repondre message

  • 13 August 2017 07:15, by Lenin Bull

    Sudantribune stop belittling South Sudan by calling legitimate arms of South Sudan government that were issued with Galil automatic rifles as militia. You have forgotten that South Sudan is a sovereign state with full right to buy weapons including Atomic/Hydrogen Bombs for the defense of its independence, sovereignty, and freedom like any country in the world.

    repondre message

  • 13 August 2017 09:29, by Adok son

    The editorial boards of Sudan Tribune must make sure that the cause of the South Sudanese civil war was not because of an accuse from Salva Kiir to r Riek Machar about a coup attempts but instead, Salva Kiir went and disarmed the Nuer soldiers in the barrack of Tiger and ended with refusal of his order.
    So, war of South Sudan was because of disarmament applied by Salva Kiir agreed Nuer Soldiers.

    repondre message

  • 13 August 2017 09:41, by Adok son

    >>>I meant "against Nuer soldiers" ignore the above errors.
    Again, Israeli government forgot the history of the Jews when they were humiliated by so many countries in the world because of their bravery and nationalism, refer that to what is now happening on Nuer People in South Sudan where all people even the human rights activities dodged the truth to told.
    Salva Kiir’s government couldn’t be>>>>

    repondre message

  • 13 August 2017 09:50, by Adok son

    >>supported by those worse types of weapons because he(Kiir) doesn’t know the value of human being but only hatred and revenge between Dinka and Nuer since long time ago has stacked in his(Kiir) mind while he is a president. If possible, O my entire world, don’t support Salva Kiir’s government,unless you means it to perish south Sudanese people by giving him those weapons to make his ongoing mass

    repondre message

  • 13 August 2017 10:02, by Adok son

    >>>killing on innocent civilian of South Sudan.
    Salva Kiir is a leader of only Dinka people,even the current government which is existing now is a tribal organization whereas its system done by JCE known as Jieng(Dinka) Council of Elders.Salva is a weaker but its stand on the same position is because he is helped by the supper countries especially the country John Kerry, Susan Rice and BarrackObam

    repondre message

  • 13 August 2017 10:13, by Adok son

    Come from.
    Israel would not Support Salva Kiir because he is a friend to the Israeli’s enemies. What I knew was only that the world could not be deceived with wrong information by a primitive,incompetent person known as Salva Kiir but it unfortunately happened in South Sudan whereby all the western countries and East Africa region closed their eyes on the rights of Riek Machar and sided with Kiir.

    repondre message

  • 13 August 2017 20:59, by Bol Ajou Ajou

    S.SUDAN government has right to buy guns for depend of country teritory and her people, but they are not authorize internationally to those weapons on their own people like rebels because the are citizens of s.sudan.

    repondre message

  • 13 August 2017 21:33, by Bol Ajou Ajou

    I mean to use those weapons on their own people/citizens of s.sudan like rebels.

    repondre message

  • 13 August 2017 21:50, by Kush Natives

    What’s better than bombing the rebels? Bashir is doing in Sudan?

    repondre message

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