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January 24, 2019

China accused of arming factions

Rebels in an African country. /FILE
Rebels in an African country. /FILE

China is arming parties in conflicts in the Horn of Africa, a special report suggests.

The investigative report published by EXX Africa says China is arming warring factions in Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia using Djibouti as the main arms trafficking hub.

The report blames laxity from the West and failure to put pressure on Djibouti for increased arms trafficking, which is hampering conflict resolution in the region.

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute put China arms export to Africa at 55 per cent between 2013 and 2017, representing 17 per cent of the arms supplies. The numbers puts china ahead of US in terms of arms supply to Africa, which now stands at 11 per cent of weapons exports.

Porous borders, volatile region, terrorists groups, drug smuggling and conflicts in nearby Yemen coupled with less monitoring, the report shows, has provided conducive ground for illegal arms trade in the Horn of Africa.

“Central to this strategy is China's military logistic base in Djibouti which China is preparing to facilitate large-scale shipments of weapons and military equipment to African Countries in particular Sudan and South Sudan,” the report reads in part.

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