South Sudan Budgeted $850 Million to Crush Rebellion, UN Says

By | Bloomberg

Some of the expensive tanks purchased to  "crush rebellions" but now used in the civil war to crush civilians(Photo: file)

Some of the expensive tanks purchased to “crush rebellions” but now used in the civil war to crush civilians(Photo: file)

August 24, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — South Sudan, one of the world’s most corrupt and least developed countries, prepared an $850 million budget to crush a rebellion shortly after the insurgency began almost two years ago, the United Nations said.

The supply of Israeli automatic rifles, Chinese missiles, Russian attack helicopters and amphibious vehicles “has been instrumental in prolonging and escalating the war,” now in its 21st month, and enabled large-scale violations of humanitarian law, according to a yet to be published interim report by the UN Panel of Experts on South Sudan.

South Sudan’s pursuit of “greater air and riverine capacity” is part of a strategy against a mobile insurgency that relies on small arms, the UN says in the report, obtained by Bloomberg from a person who asked not to be identified because it hasn’t yet been made public. South Sudan army spokesman Philip Aguer said the military needed more weapons, gunships and vehicles to remain a modern force in the region, without commenting on the UN’s figure.

The U.S. last week proposed a UN resolution to impose an arms embargo and targeted sanctions on South Sudan after President Salva Kiir refused to sign a peace deal to end the civil war that’s left tens of thousands of people dead. The government cited differences in opinion over the structure of the army, demilitarization and governance in crude-rich Upper Nile state.

South Sudan has sub-Saharan Africa’s third-biggest oil reserves, after Nigeria and Angola, according to BP Plc data. Violence has cut crude output by at least a third to about 165,000 barrels per day, the Petroleum Ministry said in May. It’s ranked 171 of 175 countries on Berlin-based Transparency International’s corruption perceptions index and near the bottom of the UN’s Human Development Index, which measures indicators including life expectancy and national income.

“The UN should do a comparative study of other countries like Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Uganda and Sudan on how much they spend on military,” Aguer said Monday by phone from South Sudan’s capital, Juba.

~ Bloomberg