UPDF airforce cited in illicit S.Sudan-Ukraine fighter jets deal

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The United Nations has accused Ukraine of violating the arms embargo on South Sudan by supplying weapons that have perpetuated the conflict.

A report by the UN panel of experts monitoring compliance with the embargo, found that that Ukraine was supplying weapons blamed for perpetuating conflict in the world’s youngest country.

The report cited the case of an Ilyunshinil-76 aircraft that left Kharkiv airport in Ukraine, bound for Gulu, Uganda on January 27.

It said the plane’s manifest indicated that it contained two L-39 jets and engines provided by Musket OU, a company based in Tallinn, and that the flight was operated by the Ukranian Defence ministry.

“Subsequently, the Government of Ukraine confirmed to the Panel that the two jets were listed as being operated by the Ugandan military and that the end user certificates indicated that the aircraft were to be used only for advanced pilot training,” the report said.

The experts further said they were investigating allegations that the aircraft was transported to South Sudan following reports that there is a new military aircraft with obscured markings parked at Juba International Airport.

The panel pointed out that it was also investigating Hungarian fighter jet pilot — Tibor Czingali — contracted by the Ugandan Air Force, but believed to be flying South Sudanese aircraft.

The experts indicated that they recently received documents from a confidential source detailed a contract, signed in June 2014 by two National Security Service officers for a company based in the Seychelles to provide weapons to the South Sudanese Internal Security Bureau, headed by Akol Koor.

Reportedly, the contract covered a large quantity of weapons and ammunition.

“Among the items are 30 T-55 tanks, 20 ZU-23 anti-aircraft weapons, 5,000 rounds of T-55 tank ammunition, 10 BM-21 “Grad” rocket systems, 10,000 122-mm M21OF rockets, 3,000 S8 rockets for Russian-made Mi-24 attack helicopters, 20 million rounds of 7.62X39mm ammunition, 50, 000 AK-47 assault rifles and 12,000 RPG-7 rounds.

The panel said independent sources had indicated that the border areas between South Sudan, the Sudan and Uganda remain key entry points for arms. More weapons are reportedly flowing in from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The experts further said they interviewed one Pierre Dadak, a jailed polish arms dealer who said between January and June 2014, the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army-In Opposition, under Riek Machar approached him seeking 40,000 AK-47 rifles, 200,000 boxes of ammunition, 30,000 PKM machine guns, 3,000 anti-tank rounds, 300 anti-tank guns and 300 anti-aircraft guns.

The panel pointed out that there were ‘persistent reports and public accusations’ of arms being flown to South Sudanese government forces by Egypt.

Source: Radio Tamazuj

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