Israel clarifies that hasn't sold South Sudan weapons since 2014

After UN report on soldiers in South Sudan civil war using Israeli rifles, officials explain they were supplied before fighting started.

Matt Wanderman,

Rebel fighters in Sudan holding up rifles
Rebel fighters in Sudan holding up rifles
Goran Tomasevic/Reuters

Israeli officials say that they have explained to the UN that Jerusalem has not sold weapons to participants in South Sudan's civil war in almost two years, Haaretz reports.

The war in Africa's youngest country began in December 2013, after President Salva Kiir accused former Deputy President Riek Machar of planning to overthrow him. The fighting only ended this past August, after the UN Security Council threatened to imposed sanctions, including an arms embargo, on all involved parties.

Last August, a monitoring committee released photographs of fighters from both sides using ACE assault rifles. The ACE rifle is made by Israel Military Industries and is based on the Galil rifle.

After the pictures came to light, the UN sent a delegation to Israel in order to clarify the issue. Officials from the Defense and Foreign Ministries met with the team in November and explained that the weapons had been sold before the war broke out. Shortly after the fighting began, Israel chose to stop shipping weapons to the country.

However, Israel has continued to sell non-offensive equipment, including protective vests.

Furthermore, Israel even offered to mediate between the factions. An official told Haaretz, "We had good relations with both sides. We tried to calm the situation and had contacts with both sides. The Foreign Ministry even sent mediators to Juba [the capital] … and we passed messages via Ethiopia and other channels. But without success."








top