China Halts Weapons Sales to South Sudan After Norinco Shipment

By Ilya Gridnef, Bloomberg

SPLM-IO delegation meeting members of Chinese Government in China(Photo: Puoch/Nyamilepedia)

SPLM-IO delegation meeting members of Chinese Government in China(Photo: Puoch/Nyamilepedia)

Sept 29, 2014(Bloomberg) — China halted weapons sales to South Sudan after it discovered the state arms manufacturer sold millions of dollars worth of equipment to the war-torn nation, a Chinese Embassy official said.

China North Industries Group Corp., known as Norinco, delivered its first consignment of a $38 million order to South Sudan in June. The Chinese government decided it was “inappropriate to implement” the remainder of the contract after details of the order came to light in July, Lan Kun, an attache at the Chinese Embassy in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, said in a Sept. 21 interview.

“No more weapons are heading to South Sudan,” he said. “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.”

South Sudan has been wracked by a civil war since mid-December in which thousands of people have died and sparked one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, according to the United Nations. China’s Foreign Ministry has repeatedly called for an end to hostilities, while Chinese Ambassador to the African Union Xie Xiaoyan has worked with U.S., Norwegian and U.K. diplomats to try end the conflict.

U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Donald Booth said he raised the issue about the weapons sale with Chinese officials during a visit to Beijing in July.

“I have been told and assured that they have frozen delivery of any further arms that are already sold and they continue to have a policy of no new arms agreements,” he said by phone from New York.

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