Home | News    Tuesday 26 September 2017

Advocacy group exposes illicit arms deal in South Sudan


September 25, 2017 (NAIROBI) – A British-based company acted as an intermediary in huge prospective arms deals to war-torn South Sudan and other countries, Amnesty International said in a report.

JPEG - 74.6 kb
Arms and light weapons have been used by both warring parties in South Sudan to commit abuses (Photo courtesy of SSANSA)

The deals, it said, was facilitated by regulatory gaps, which makes the UK a hotspot for companies involved in illicit arms transfers.

According to the UK-based advocacy group, commercial documents named S-Profit Ltd, a tiny UK-registered company, as the ‘supplier’ in a 2014 deal to provide at least US$46m worth of small arms, light weapons and ammunition to South Sudan government.

“South Sudan is awash with weapons that have been used to kill and maim thousands of civilians, causing Africa’s biggest refugee crisis. The UK government has been a vocal proponent of a UN arms embargo on South Sudan, yet is turning a blind eye to illegal deals taking place right under its nose,” said James Lynch, Amnesty International’s Head of Arms Control and Human Rights.

Entitled “From London to Juba: a UK-registered company’s role in one of the largest arms deals to South Sudan”, the report claims the UK government has been aware of similar practices taking place on its soil for over eight years, without taking effective regulatory action.

It says, “Glaring gaps in UK company regulation mean a dealer of illicit arms can go online and set up a UK company to front its activities with fewer checks than joining a gym or hiring a car. The UK must urgently review its company registration procedures – right now it provides the perfect conditions to become a hotspot for the kind of irresponsible arms transfers that have devastated South Sudan.”

The weapons in question, Amnesty International said, form part of a previously undisclosed 2014 contract between a Ukrainian state arms company and a UAE-based company to procure US$169m of weapons on behalf of South Sudan. These include thousands of machine guns, mortars, RPGs and millions of rounds of ammunition.

The deal, it said, constitutes one of the largest publicly disclosed arms transfers to South Sudan since the outbreak of fighting in 2013.

Meanwhile, the UK-based advocacy group said it has not been able to determine whether some or all of the weapons listed in these documents have been delivered to the war-torn East African nation.

The involvement of the Ukrainian state-owned arms company and a UAE private company in weapons supplies to South Sudan also potentially contravenes the Ukraine and UAE’s obligations as signatories to the Arms Trade Treaty, Amnesty International stated.

S-Profit Ltd officials reportedly declined to comment on the armed deal matter.

Amnesty International said it provided UK authorities with the documents and information it has obtained. The report also reveals that the UK government has, for more than eight years, been aware of UK shell companies being used unlawfully as contract vehicles for weapons dealers to supply arms to human rights violators and embargoed destinations including Syria, Eritrea and South Sudan.

The UK government reportedly failed to take meaningful enforcement action against companies involved, despite powers under UK company and insolvency law designed to allow the government to wind up companies acting unlawfully or fraudulently.

“S-Profit Ltd’s company filings give no indication of its involvement in the arms trade – but then UK law does not require them to. This kind of weak regulation is seriously undermining the other robust domestic, EU and international controls which should make any UK involvement in arms transfers to a war zone like South Sudan unimaginable,” stressed Lynch.

“If they have not already reached South Sudan, these deliveries must be halted,” he added.

The advocacy group, in the report, called for a comprehensive UN arms embargo on South Sudan that includes any brokering, financial or logistical activities that would facilitate these kinds of transfers.

“Without an embargo, weapons will continue to flow into South Sudan, and the consequences for civilians will continue to be catastrophic,” further said Lynch.


Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 26 September 2017 13:03, by lou nuer

    Dear Lynch
    YOu have clearly disclose the UK plan against S.Sudan. Kiir would have not act in that way if i’sn’t because of those stupid Kawaja. But right cann’t be deny for good and forever there is time for every thing to come to an end.

    repondre message

    • 26 September 2017 17:43, by garrak1520

      "Kiir says government devoted resources to war effort".
      Kiir has always denied it, but again certain things can’t be hidden. No that all resources are gone, at least leave the skeleton of the country to the people, they may find a way to stick meat on it.

      repondre message

  • 27 September 2017 06:31, by Don-Don Malith Rual

    Where is the International community here? They have been talking about sanction, sanction, & yet can’t comment on the illegal arm deal! this is very unfortunate that the country is being blind fool, we should stop this smart game of some playing cards where you put some on the table & leave the dangerous one beneath.

    repondre message

  • 27 September 2017 06:31, by Don-Don Malith Rual

    Where is the International community here? They have been talking about sanction, sanction, & yet can’t comment on the illegal arm deal! this is very unfortunate that the country is being blind fool, we should stop this smart game of some playing cards where you put some on the table & leave the dangerous one beneath.

    repondre message

Comment on this article

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

Maulana Mayen Wol was acquitted by South Sudan Supreme Court 2018-03-21 21:14:00 By Amb. Gordon Buay I have seen some quarters criticizing the appointment of Maulana Mayen Wol as the undersecretary of the Ministry of Petroleum on the basis of the charges brought against him (...)

President Kiir should extend equal justice recognition to John Agou 2018-03-17 08:35:01 By Deng Kur Deng Dear Mr. President, Is is the quest for equal justice that urges me to write to you today. Our quest didn’t begin with us, but it starts with you. All you have done for your (...)

Applying to the Arab League as the observer is recommendable but wrong time 2018-03-13 11:21:42 By Gatdiet Peter On 5 March 2018, a report from the Egyptian official news agency, MENA has flooded the media and captured a sharp attention of wider South Sudanese people that the Republic of (...)


Latest Press Releases

Appeal for forgiveness and pardon of John Agou Wuoi 2018-03-07 08:28:08 H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President and Commander-in-Chief, of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), Republic of South Sudan (RSS), 5th February, 2018. Through: Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth (...)

Petition for release of Agou John Wuoi from prison 2018-02-15 20:45:31 Open letter to South Sudan President Salva Kiir Your Excellency, Kindly please permit me to take this rare opportunity to appreciate you for every effort you have made toward making South Sudan (...)

AUHIP Communiqué on Sudan & SPLM-N talks for cessation of hostilities agreement 2018-02-05 13:04:16 African Union High-Level Implementation Panel for Sudan and South Sudan Joint Statement on Unilateral Ceasefire, Cessation of Hostilities and Completion of Negotiations 1) With the facilitation (...)


Copyright © 2003-2018 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.