n Africa Insight - Arms transfer and conflict in Africa : the role of China in Sudan

Volume 40, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


The central argument of this article is that arms transfers from countries such as China to Sudan help sustain the armed conflict in the country, as well as in the Horn of Africa region. This is because arms transfer increases the risk of ethnic disharmony, deeper militarisation, increased crime rate, multiplication of armed groups, mutual distrust and suspicion among countries and worsening of natural disasters such as desertification and drought. While acknowledging that Sudan derives benefits from its relations with China, the article argues that net benefit is skewed in favour of China. Similarly, while China sustains its relations with Sudan because it is in line with a broader strategy to realise China's national security objectives, the Khartoum government sustains the relationship because it is necessary for regime survival.

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