International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Is Sudan Fueling War Throughout Africa?

For some years now, Sudan has acted as a weapons supplier for much of Africa. The Sudanese government under Omar Al Bashir has been found accountable for providing arms to already violence ridden regions of Africa such as Somalia and the Ivory Coast. Not only is Sudan exporting their own manufactures, but they are acting as a funnel for Irani and Chinese weapons as well. Once these weapons reach rebel groups in Africa they become impossible to trace or control, meaning that rebel groups have unbridled access to quite advanced weaponry. The controls on international arms trade are particularly lax in Africa, which makes this an ongoing threat.

This activity by Sudan begs the question: can they be held accountable for aiding and abetting, by proxy, the atrocity crimes and violence that has occurred in the regions they have armed? Should these charges be added to President Al Bashir’s already long list? Sudan itself has a history of violence, as well as a weak economy, and it is unlikely that they will stop providing arms to rebel groups in the near future without international action.

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2 responses to “Is Sudan Fueling War Throughout Africa?

  1. pollorey February 20, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Not only is the Sudanese government causing a partition within the African Union—regarding the indictment of President Omar al-Bashir—but it is also fueling conflicts and divisions within the borders of other African nations. In addition to the provision of aid and accommodations to LRA rebel groups in neighboring Uganda, Sudan has also been linked to forces in the Central African Republic (CAR). Most of the recently manufactured weapons and ammunition used by all parties involved in the CAR conflict were sourced by China, Iran, and Sudan. The ongoing civil war in the CAR region between the Seleka rebel coalition and government forces has resulted thus far in the loss of hundreds of lives and the displacement of millions. Just as Liberian rebel leader and former president, Charles Taylor, was prosecuted for aiding and abetting war crimes committed in neighboring Sierra Leone, Bashir should be held partially responsible for the crimes that have occurred as a consequence of his provision of weapons to various rebel groups. Not only are these weapons being redistributed throughout Africa, but they are also driving country’s civil war, which has gotten gradually less media coverage since the partition between Sudan and South Sudan.


  2. bconroy2015 February 22, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    The question of Bashir’s responsibility for the proliferation of arms in these central African countries, and the role that major powers like China and Iran have played relate back to Ignatieff’s argument in the impunity debate. Without a doubt Bashir should be held accountable for the advanced weaponry that is becoming more accessible, however, the reality is that countries like China have interests at stake in Africa. The large number of Chinese nationals in Africa and the huge economic investment it has there has lead to more all-around involvement in African affairs by China, especially in countries like Sudan. Furthermore, the increasing need for protection on these economic investments has caused Chine to rely more on its military. As the first comment noted, the distribution of these weapons in Africa are fuelling civil wars. While this may seem like its own problem, it is also very relatable to the issue of justice and impunity for people like Bashir. The root of the problem will have to be solved before there can be justice for the perpetrators in Africa, especially because China holds an important veto power on the Security Council. The question then becomes how do you align China’s political interests and the interests of international justice?

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