Ukraine sold arms to South Sudan according to Wikileaks

Latest release wiki-leak documents state that Ukraine sold arms to South Sudan.

The U.S. had satellite imagery that proved Ukraine lied about shipping arms to South Sudan, according to a U.S. State Department cable published Dec. 8 by WikiLeaks. Such sales to Sudan would violate international sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council because of the alleged genocide that has taken place during a protracted and bloody civil war.

The arms shipments were made in 2008, and included tanks and other weapons aboard the Faina, a ship that was hijacked by Somali pirates on Sept. 25, 2008, before later being released on Feb. 5, 2009,after a ransom was paid.

The account of meetings between Vann H. Van Diepen, a U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state, and senior Ukrainian officials in November 2009 also detail how American diplomats raised concerns that Ukraine:

– intended to sell missile systems to Saudi Arabia capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction;

– continued to exports parts, albeit in reduced quantities and not completed weapons, to the military dictatorship in Myanmar;

– was not intervening in the sale by Ukrainian entities of specialty metals for Iran’s ballistic missiles.

Ukraine’s export of arms hit the headlines when the Faina was captured by Somali pirates in September 2008 en route to Kenya.  According to the account of the meeting in the cable, Ukraine claimed the weapons on board this and an earlier shipment were destined for Kenya, but Van Diepen produced a copy of a contract that showed the arms were destined for South Sudan. The Ukrainian side “held to this line, questioned the authenticity of the contract, and asked if the U.S. had any better evidence,” whereupon Van Diepen “showed the Ukrainians cleared satellite imagery of T-72 tanks unloaded in Kenya, transferred to rail yards for onward shipment, and finally in South Sudan.”

“This led to a commotion on the Ukrainian side,” the author of the cable noted laconically. Ukrainian officials claimed they couldn’t be held responsible for the actions of Kenya.

Arms exports to the war-torn country are carefully watched, and under embargo to the Darfur region. South Sudan was granted a degree of autonomy from Sudan in 2005.

U.N. officials told the Associated Press in 2008 that there was no blanket arms embargo on Sudan’s government, but any movement of military equipment and supplies into the Darfur region would violate a U.N. arms embargo if it were not first requested by the government and approved by the UN Security Council’s Sudan sanctions committee.

Van Diepen reminded the Ukrainians that Sudan was on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terror and rebuked the Ukrainian side for lying. He added that the U.S. “would have to consider whether to impose sanctions for the tank transfer, and that a factor in U.S. deliberations would be whether the [government of Ukraine] was being truthful.”

Someone turned a blind eye to this. How can something like this not be known? As we see, neither the former PM or the president of Ukraine at that time called for an investigation into the allegations. On the other hand, this arms build up is rational given the whelming military build up by the government in khartoum headed by President Bashir.

Here is news report about South Sudan’s arms build up leading to the vote on independence.

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