The Khartoum Regime Continues to Import Large Quantities of Weapons and Dual-Use Equipment from a Ra

A new report from Conflict Arms Research makes clear that the Khartoum regime continues to import large quantities of weapons in order to continue offensive military action in South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Darfur. The weapons come from “East Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.” This makes nonsense of the regime’s commitment to end offensive military activity in these areas, one of two key terms for permanent lifting of U.S. economic sanctions (a decision to be made by the Trump administration by July 13, 2017).

To ignore such authoritative findings in assessing NIF/NCP genocidal tyranny was a hallmark of U.S. Sudan policy under the Obama administration—and a rudderless Trump administration is likely to make a decision by default to lift sanctions permanently (the administration has no Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs unless that task, too, has fallen to Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner).

“Sudanese Stockpiles and Regions Weapon Diversion,” a report from Conflict Arms Research (May 2017)

An analysis of captured equipment in the possession of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North in the Nuba Mountains.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

For more than half a decade, Sudan has waged
a war of attrition against the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N) in South Kordofan’s isolated Nuba Mountains region and the southeastern border state of Blue Nile. Despite the Sudan Armed Forces’ (SAF) military superiority in terms of logistics, air power, and heavy weaponry, government-aligned forces have failed to dislodge the SPLA-N from the areas it controls.

For its part, the SPLA-N has been unable to capture key SAF garrison towns. The military stalemate on the battlefield has contributed to an impasse in negotiations led by the African Union (AU).

In June 2016, Conflict Armament Research (CAR) examined a range of weapons, ammunition, vehicles, and other military and dual-purpose equipment captured from SAF and its affiliated militias by the SPLA-N in the Nuba Mountains.

Despite the imposition of a European Union (EU) arms embargo on Sudan since 1994 and
a UN arms embargo on the Sudanese state of Darfur since 2005, CAR’s findings suggest that the Sudanese government continues to benefit from relatively unrestricted access to military imports. These imports have been supplemented by the acquisition of non-military or dual-purpose equipment from East Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

[Note the necessary disclaimer in this photograph: the German government and EU are supplying dual-use (military and civilian use) equipment to the Khartoum regime, a fact they would rather keep quiet—ER]

THE ANALYSIS OF CAPTURED WEAPONS AND AMMUNITION CONTAINED IN THIS REPORT PROVIDES A GLIMPSE INTO SUDANESE WEAPON STOCKPILES, SUPPLY LINES, AND SOURCES OF EXTERNAL SUPPORT.

While Sudan continues to import heavy weaponry, mainly from China and the Russian Federation, it has also invested in its own domestic military production and assembly capabilities, which have expanded significantly over the last decade.

CAR’s findings also suggest that Sudan continues to supply arms to state and non-state armed groups across the East African region and the western Sahel. Since 2014, CAR and its investigative partners have documented newly manufactured Sudanese military materiel captured from non-state armed groups in South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Libya, Mali, and Niger.

IN A NUMBER OF CASES, SUDAN APPEARS TO HAVE REPACKAGED AMMUNITION OR OTHERWISE MASKED SHIPPING INFORMATION APPLIED TO AMMUNITION BOXES IN ORDER TO CONCEAL ITS PROVENANCE.

The newness and condition of some of this materiel, in addition to testimonies and contextual evidence provided to CAR, suggest that Sudan has supplied it directly to non-state groups—at least during the period 2014–15.

In a number of cases, Sudan appears to have repackaged ammunition or otherwise masked shipping information applied to ammunition boxes in order to conceal its provenance. This is notably the case for large quantities of Chinese ammunition. One probable reason for this is Sudan’s attempts to disguise its retransfer of Chinese-supplied ammunition to non-state groups beyond its borders, which would constitute a clear violation of its end-user agreements—and specifically their non-retransfer clauses—with the Chinese government.

The analysis of captured weapons and ammunition contained in this report provides a glimpse into Sudanese weapon stockpiles, supply lines, and sources of external support. These findings provide a significant measure of the effectiveness and impact of arms embargo restrictions, and highlight the continued efforts on the part of the Sudanese government to conceal violations of end-user agreements made with supplier states and its support for non-state armed groups.

CAR bases its findings exclusively on materiel documented in the field and supported by contextual interviews with those in possession of the materiel at the time of documentation. CAR never bases its findings on reports or images presented on social media, due to the difficulties of verifying the provenance of the reports or the materiel depicted in them.

KEY FINDINGS

• Despite international pressure to end the conflicts in South Kordofan and Blue Nile,
 SAF has little difficulty in acquiring weapons and ammunition of recent manufacture (both domestically manufactured and imported) and deploying them in the South Kordofan theatre. 
While the composition of SAF stockpiles has remained relatively consistent in recent years, CAR notes recent additions to SAF’s arsenal, including commercially available Chinese unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones, 
a T-85 main battle tank, and a Chinese- manufactured anti-materiel rifle. 
Sudan continues to rely on imported military technology from several foreign countries, most notably China, to expand the production and
assembly capabilities of its state-owned Military Industry Corporation (MIC).