Home | News    Wednesday 18 April 2012

South Sudan rebels armed by Sudan, Eritrea: Small Arms Survey


April 17, 2012 (JUBA) – Rebels fighting the South Sudanese government are receiving weapons and ammunition from Sudan and Eritrea, says a report by Small Army Survey; an independent research project in Geneva.

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A South Sudanese policeman stands in a bomb crater in the El Nar oil field, Unity State, where rebels claimed responsibility for an attack, March 3, 2012 (REUTERS)

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 the 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 have 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 the 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.


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  • 18 April 2012 05:38, by LL Reuben

    Even the pathetic nation of Eritrea is supporting South Sudanese rebels groups for what gain? Disgrutled Isoiah Aferwaki does like our new state of South Sudan because we’ve emerged Ethiopian ally. What a shame to them for favoring the northern terrorists who have no atom of humanity in them over us. I guess we’ll consider Eritrea a terrorist run state now.

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    • 18 April 2012 09:03, by Lango2010

      there is no wonder about Eritrea being terrories nation, the distability in Somalia is in the hand of eritrea and now the are turning to South Sudan be for three reasons
      1. South Sudan had promise to construct oil pipeline via Ethiopia but not to port of Asmara.
      2. South Sudan is an ally to Ethiopia which it level as its enemy
      3. eritrea think of being arabs country
      and the gain onthing from us

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    • 18 April 2012 09:58, by Chok Deng

      To Eritrea
      please,please distant yourself from our affairs,otherwise we will take legal measures against you.

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  • 18 April 2012 05:39, by zulu


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  • 18 April 2012 05:49, by Msudi

    Hey guys
    I was right to said that Eritrea was the cause of south sudan problem before our indepedence. Many of you criticised me on this discussion board but my statment about about this issue some 2 years ago has now come to light.
    Eritrea was angry because we aligned ourselves with Ethiopia
    Hell with NDA supported by Earitrea, I had my military training in Ethiopia b4 NDA was formed

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  • 18 April 2012 05:54, by Daniel Buolmawei

    Let’s pay no attention to that pathetic state of Eritrea. We will over run it in a matter of days later if they don’t cease. Our ties with Ethiopians are historically sacred bonds which noone can dare to break. Our ties with Ethiopians are not political but sacred. Whoever want to break these ties will be throat-cut by the rising star Nation of Kush. SPLA oyee!

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  • 18 April 2012 06:06, by Daniel Buolmawei

    “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.

    I like the report but it barely wrong to include us as having extreme elements while we are consistently speaking co-existence, peace and return to the negotiation table with----

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  • 18 April 2012 06:13, by Daniel Buolmawei

    Our northern brothers who routinely refuse to hear of peace and negotiations which can solve our differences amicably. We have extreme elements at all. We are for negotiations that can let’s peacefully settle these contentious issues between South and Sudan. We are ready to negotiate back Panthou, Abyei and other southern areas peacefully. They are our rightful areas, not northern areas.

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    • 18 April 2012 06:15, by Daniel Buolmawei

      I meant we have no extreme elements at all.

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      • 18 April 2012 06:27, by Dinkanuer

        Eritrean must pay attentions for this allegation, if it’s true about supporting South Sudan rebels to downfall our government. We must pay them back as soon as possible!!!

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  • 18 April 2012 08:27, by morogot batal

    - ALLMIGHTY GOD is with south sudan.
    - long live south sudan
    - long live south sudan brotherly countries.

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    • 18 April 2012 09:27, by Dinka Aliap Chawul

      Eriteria cant be consider enemy nor ally,its a confused wolf in the Horn of Africa,this country ask SPLM in 2009 to declare its position whether it want to be Seperatist or Unionist,that is one thing.however,ma heart complains goes to the seating ministers who dont look beyond Juba,Eriterea and Ethiopia were influences by Garang to support despite been foe with each other and this what led to....

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      • 18 April 2012 09:42, by Dinka Aliap Chawul

        Successes in 1997,it’s because of effort made by our dear leader Dr Garang to bring Eritearia,Ethiopia and Uganda to back the cause of marginalised people of then Sudan.fact is that we failed diplomacy and winning a battle field which would not be sustainable without diplomacy on winning a regional countries considering geo-political important of it to Juba,Asmara-Khartoum hv so many difrences

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  • 18 April 2012 09:16, by Justice Seeker

    The Isayas regime has been a source of instability in the region for so long and a cancer to its own people. Supporting extremest in Somalia, in DRC and even going as far as Srilanka. Thats why we see a lot of Eritreans scattered all over including a huge number in South Sudan.

    The death of this dictator is near and Eritreans will get a relief soon. God bless Africa, Amen!

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  • 18 April 2012 11:38, by Emmanuel Ajang Solomon

    I think Eritrea can be right some time, we cannot be friends to both of them/ Ethiopia and Eritreaat thesame time,the only person who manage that situation was Late leader Dr. John Garang.

    Khartoum have taken Eritrea to give them aids, what did we gave them???Ethiopia is close to both of us and Now they are refusing our forces to attack Abyie and they where there during the Khartoum occupation. s

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  • 18 April 2012 20:31, by Kuat Tok

    Isaias Afewerki should be the last one to criticize South Sudan, and lend it’s support to Sudan; given the fact that they fought for their independence just like South Sudan. We don’t have any problem with the Eritrean people. But their president has shown characteristics that are not presidential. He is not a "statesman". He is a shame to the Eritrean people.

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