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Pirate Tanks Spotted in Sudan

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Pirate Tanks Spotted in Sudan

Posted by David Sullivan on July 8, 2009

Via John Boonstra at U.N. Dispatch, I see that intrepid reporters from Jane’s Defense Weekly have been keeping an eye on those Ukrainian tanks that were hijiacked by Somali pirates way back at the beginning of the piracy crisis in Month 2008. The Kenyan government had convolutedly rejected assertions that the tanks were ultimately headed for the Government of Southern Sudan, or GOSS, as part of the arms race that has coincided with the faltering implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

However, thanks to satellite analysis, it appears that the tanks have made their way north and are now located at a SPLA compound outside of Juba. Although hardly a shocking outcome, this provides a telling indicator of the priorities of the southern Government. As Gérard Prunier and Maggie Fick write in our recent report:

the remaining funds that might have been available for building much-needed infrastructure in the South, from roads to schools, are now likely being siphoned off in support of the central driving strategy of the GoSS: preparation for a serious confrontation—namely a return to war—with the northern government.