A CONSIGNMENT of military trucks has left the port of Mombasa for South Sudan, five days after they arrived by sea from China. The consignment was offloaded on Wednesday last week at the G-Section of the port, where overstayed containers are normally stored. It was cleared a day before the Easter holidays commenced.
The KPA shipping schedule confirmed that the consignment, part of which belongs to the United Nations, was brought on diverse days to Mombasa, using two vehicle carriers, Bahamas-flagged MV Crystal Ray and Panama-flagged MV Topaz Ace. They left Yokohama port on February 23 and 26 this year, passing through several other ports including Kobe, Durban and Dar-es-Salaam, and then Mombasa.
The vessels arrived in Mombasa on April 3 and the shipping company handling the consignment was, according to the manifest, the Freight Forwarders. The importation of the military hardware by South Sudan follows rising tensions with Sudan over boundaries and the sharing of oil resources. South Sudan has ruled out going to war with the North and asked Kenya to mediate to end the standoff that has seen scores of people killed over two months and a wave of refugees moving southward into Kenya.
The assistant director of public communication in the Ministry of Defense, Bogita Ongeri, refused to comment on the consignment and referred us to the High Commissioner of South Sudan. “The Sudanese officials are better and well placed to respond to this since the consignment is theirs. It is not something for Kenyans,” he added.
In 2008, a piracy attack incident on MV Faina exposed that the vessel had military cargo including 33 T-72 main battle tanks (MBTs), weapons and ammunition and documents that identified the buyer as the Government of South Sudan. The Kenya government insisted the acronym GOSS meant the Kenyan army’s own General Ordinance Supplies and Security and said the tanks were deployed to various bases in Kenya. However, satellite photos monitoring the tanks showed them being transported to various bases in South Sudan.
Yesterday, our sources at the port said the South Sudan government has continued to import its military equipment and other hardware through the port of Mombasa. “There has been a long-term agreement which was signed a long time ago. It is now that it is being implemented in phases,” said the sources who cannot be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue.
The sources said the recent consignment includes 34 military trucks, trailers and wagons which had been at the port waiting for clearance. The KPA head of corporate affairs, Bernard Osero, gave a breakdown of all the vehicles which have been imported through the port in the last month but did not include the military ones headed for South Sudan.
The Small Arms Survey’s Sudan/South Sudan Human Security Baseline Assessment (HSBA) is pleased to announce the release of a new Issue Brief: Reaching for the Gun: Arms Flows and Holdings in South Sudan
This Issue Brief reviews arms flows and holdings among both state and non-state armed forces as of early 2012, situating recent developments against historical trends and patterns of supply. It updates a previous HSBA report on small arms and light weapons flows and holdings in Sudan from December 2009.
Key findings include:
- In 2010–11 the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) acquired large quantities of small arms and light weapons and their ammunition, 10 Russian-manufactured Mi-17 transport helicopters, as well as final deliveries of 33 T-72 battle tanks that were delivered to Mombasa Port, Kenya, in February 2009.
- Ukraine has been South Sudan’s principal supplier of weapons since 2005. Kenya and Uganda have been used as transshipment points for onward delivery to South Sudan
- From November 2010 to May 2011, the South Sudan Police Service (SSPS) marked 41,200 firearms distributed among various official security forces, permitting it to trace a number of firearms that leaked out of state control to non-state actors. The SPLA would benefit from similarly marking its weapons.
- South Sudanese rebel militia groups are well equipped with both small and large calibre small arms and light weapons. Analysis of captured materiel reveals that they have consistent access to new weapons from SAF and, to a lesser degree, from the SPLA, and a number of governments both inside and outside the region.
- Although the SPLA and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N) officially separated in July 2011, military and logistical cooperation and collaboration between the two forces continues.
‘Reaching for the Gun’ is the 19th Issue Brief from the Small Arms Survey’s HSBA project. It can be downloaded in English (and shortly in Arabic) fromwww.smallarmssurveysudan.org/publications.
HSBA Project Coordinator
- Download Reaching for the gun: Arms flows and holdings in South Sudan
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