Juba — South Sudan's SPLM-IO rebels may have received ammunition from Sudanese or outside groups during the civil war, according to evidence presented by the Small Arms Survey (SAS) research group. Meanwhile, the Sudanese government denied it has exported rockets to the Palestinian resistance.
In a report released on Thursday, SAS said that two bullet casings found at the Bentiu mosque massacre site, in Unity state, have markings indicating they were manufactured in Sudan in 2014, after the civil war broke out.
"If this ammunition's markings accurately reflect its date of manufacture, it cannot have been supplied to its user earlier than January 2014, after the defection of the SPLM-IO forces from the SPLA in mid-December 2013," the report read. "This makes it unlikely that the ammunition originated in SPLA stocks taken by defecting SPLM-IO forces, and likely that it was obtained by its user (SPLM-IO or another armed group) from an external source since the start of the current conflict."
SAS said that the evidence suggests outside groups provisioning non-government forces with arms or ammunition is ongoing in 2014. Still, the group cautioned that drawing definitive conclusions is difficult due to "constant circulation of ammunition between opposing and allied forces in South Sudan and Sudan, and because many forces have previously shared the same ammunition providers."
South Sudan is under arms embargo from the European Union. China recently sold $38 million dollars' worth of missiles, arms, and ammunition to the government.