China Suspends Arms Sales to South Sudan

02.10.2014 Sudan
China Suspends Arms Sales to South Sudan

China Suspends Arms Sales to South Sudan

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Beijing has halted weapons sales to South Sudan amid allegations that the Chinese government could have sold millions of dollars worth of arms to the war-torn country in an attempt to undermine the peace process, Bloomberg reported Monday.

“No more weapons are heading to South Sudan. There are some media reports that were alleging that the Chinese government was behind this business operation and wants to undermine this peace process. That is totally untrue,” Lan Kun, an Attaché at the Chinese Embassy in South Sudan, was reported by Bloomberg as saying

In June, China North Industries Group Corp, also known as Norinco, was revealed to have sent to South Sudan arms amounting to $38 million. Since the deal came to light, the government of China deemed it inappropriate to continue the sales.

Violence erupted in South Sudan in December 2013, when President Salva Kiir accused his ex-deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup. Tens of thousands have been killed during the South Sudanese Civil War.

The spokesperson of South Sudan Army (SPLA) has dismissed as “enemy propaganda” reports that it recently received chemical weapons.

 “Of course we are not surprised of these reports which are basically white lies. They are part of the usual activities of enemies of peace and stability of South Sudan. They are never happy if they have not fabricated something to tarnish the image of the SPLA and the country”, Col. Philip Aguer said last month.

“We do not have a factory for chemical weapons and we did not order it. So where do these reports that we have received it in Juba come from? It is just a usual propaganda of these enemies”, he added.

Those loyal to the Juba government have been critical of reports, which tend to portray President Salva Kiir’s regime in bad light given the conflict that has engulfed the nation.

South Sudan presidential spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny also accused the Sudanese media of being hostile both to his government as well as the national Army. “The peace process is our priority, not building an arsenal for war”, he said.

Recently, however, there have been widespread calls for arms embargo on South Sudan after it emerged that the young nation purchased military equipment from China in July.

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