Dec 5, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — Latest UN Security Council report on South Sudan under section A of the S/2020/1141, entitled “South Sudan People’s Defence Forces and National Security Service arm militias from government stockpile”, details how senior South Sudanese government officials have funded and armed militias in Jonglei State between February and August, 2020.
“The political infighting within SPLM has inflamed conflicts outside Juba. From mid-February to early August, a series of coordinated attacks took place in Jonglei and the Greater Pibor Administrative Area.” reads part of the report.
According to the UNSC experts, the multiple attacks that were carried out on Gawaar-Nuer, Lou-Nuer and Dinka Bor communities by the Murle youth earlier this year were supported and supplied by the head of South Sudan National Security Service Lieutenant General Akol Khor Kuc, Presidential Special Envoy to Murle, Akot Lual Arech and the head of South Sudan People’s Defence Forces’s Military Intelligence, Lieutenant General Ring Tueny Mabor Deng.
“Political and military leaders manipulated the long-standing enmity between the Murle, Gawaar Nuer and Lou Nuer and Dinka Bor communities (see annex II). Lieutenant General Akol Kor Kuc, the presidential adviser on Murle affairs, Akot Lual Arech, and the head of South Sudan People’s Defence Forces Military Intelligence, Lieutenant General Rin Tueny Mabor Deng, known as “Janafil”, armed General David Yau Yau’s Cobra Faction of SSPDF and other Murle militias during fighting in February and March” Part of the UNSC report (P11) reads.
According to the report, members of the Internal Security Bureau and Division 3 of the SSPDF participated in the attacks on Gawaar Nuer and Lou Nuer villages that left hundreds of people dead and several others injured earlier this year.
“the Panel corroborated through confidential sources and documentation that the the Internal Security Bureau and Division 3 of SSPDF supported and participated in Cobra Faction operations against Gawaar Nuer and Lou Nuer villages.” UNSC report continued.
According to the UN Intelligence sources in Pibor, South Sudan government delivered 27 RPGs, 1, 004 AK47 and 126 Kalashnikov general machine guns and ammunition to Murle militias in May this year.
“As part of the military support, in May, multiple confidential sources in Gumuruk, in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area corroborated that an SSPDF helicopter delivered 27 rocket-propelled grenades, 1,004 AK-47 assault rifles, 126 Kalashnikov general machine guns and ammunition to Murle militias.” The UNSC Report further added.
The UN Security Council report added that Lieutenant General Tueny, through Major General Korok Nhial, also supplied General Yau Yau’s fighters with ammunition and more guns in June.
“In addition, in June, Lieutenant General Tueny, through Major General Korok Nhial, provided General Yau Yau’s fighters with ammunition, grenade launchers and at least 50 boxes of modernized automatic Kalashnikov rifles from the existing SSPDF stockpiles.” the report said.
“The weapons were used in attacks against Dinka Bor communities living in the central and southern parts of Jonglei (see annex II).20” the report continued.
The same report alleges that in response, senior Dinka Bor officers in the SSPDF responded by supporting their communities using available government resources.
“Separately, the Panel received reliable information that senior Dinka Bor officers in SSPDF supported Dinka Bor militias with logistical support, weaponry and ammunition from government supplies under the control of SSPDF Division 8.” The report added.
The report cites Gen. Gabriel Jok Riak and the former Minister of Defence, Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk, as the two culprits who supplied Dinka Bor youth with weapons and ammunition.
“In the months prior to the fighting, sanctioned individual and former SSPDF Chief of Staff, First Lieutenant General Gabriel Jok Riak Makol (SSi.001), and the former Minister of Defence, Kuol Manyang Juuk, had provided weapons and ammunition to Dinka Bor militias” The UNSC report indicates.
The same report also alleged that government and armed opposition officials also supplied the Gawaar and Lou Nuer youth with weapons and ammunition.
“In Jonglei and Upper Nile, the Gawaar Nuer and Lou Nuer militias also received government-supplied arms. In March, the Director General of the General Intelligence Bureau of the National Security Service, Lieutenant General Thomas Duoth Guet, supplied Kalashnikov machine guns and AK-47 rifles and related ammunition to Gawaar Nuer and Lou Nuer militias. In addition, as part of a separate supply of weapons, SPLA-IO provided the same militias in Jonglei and Upper Nile with weaponry and military support.” The report further added.
Citing how the government stockpiles are diverted to supply militias, the UN Security Council orders for an independent re-assessment and re-evaluation of the government’s management of its stockpiles.
“As the Panel has previously reported (see S/2019/301 and S/2020/342), weapons have been illicitly diverted from government stockpiles to supply militias and other non-State armed groups. Considering the significant threat to peace and security from Government weapons that are unaccounted for, the Panel recommends that the Security Council request an independent evaluation of the Government’s management of its stockpile.” The UNSC Report reads.
“In its 2018 and 2020 reports to the United Nations on the implementation of small arms control, the Government had requested stockpile management assistance (see annex III).” The report added.
This report came at a time South Sudan government wants sanctions and arms embargo lifted; however, at the current high rate of inter-communal violence, it remains to be seen if the UNSC may remove the sanctions and arms embargo on South Sudan any time soon.