Defense Ministry has confirmed that the government has bought a new shipment of arms and ammunitions from China.
The military equipment were purchased at $14.5 million with the approval of the parliament.
Kuol Manyang, the minister of Defense, said the government has a constitutional right to arm the army.
However, the arms purchase comes amidst peace talks between the government and the rebels.
While the government and the rebels say they’re committed to a peaceful resolution to their dispute, both sides are still intent on resolving their differences on the battlefield and will continue to seek weapons, Casie Copeland, International Crisis Group’s South Sudan analyst, told Bloomberg in a recent interview.
“What is wrong with it, with us getting arms from China? Is there anything specific about it?” Mr Manyang told Eye Radio’s Sundown.
“It is our right; right of the government of South Sudan to arm its army. Otherwise, they would not be called an army if they are not armed.”
The minister said the purchase of arms will not affect the peace talks in Addis Ababa.
The arms have been shipped from China to the Kenyan port of Mombasa.
They include automatic rifles, grenade launchers, bullets for automatic rifles, rounds of pistol ammunition, machine guns, pistols, rounds of 40-millimeter anti-personnel grenades and rounds of 40-millimeter “heat rockets”.
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