UK government spent millions arming and training Congolese and Sudanese soldiers

The UK government has spent £2.4m on training and arming the military forces in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo -- two places where soldiers are known for atrocities, gang-rape, torture, electoral fraud and vote suppression, and gross human rights abuses. The Guardian's Diane Taylor and David Smith report:

The Enough Project, which works with the American actor George Clooney to expose human rights abuses in both Sudan and Congo, says the two countries are the scene of some of the world's most serious mass atrocities.

In information revealed in a freedom of information response from the Ministry of Defence a total of £75,406 has been spent on providing 44-week courses at the elite Royal Military Academy Sandhurst for Sudanese and Congolese forces. Other support includes military logistics, advanced command and staff courses, strategic intelligence and evaluating challenges to state sovereignty.

A total of £952,301 was spent on international peace support, which includes border security and stabilisation.

As the Sudanese opposition leader Dr Gebreil Fediel said from London, "If it was and is the intention of the UK authorities to teach Sudan's police and security officers how to conduct these matters in a democratic manner, it has failed. The brutality and genocidal activities of government of Sudan state organs against its own citizens is widely documented."

UK spent millions training police from oppressive regimes


  1. Well of course this makes sense; I’m sure the children and families of those trained men are glad for the added income and the security that weapons provide…

    Today my President told the UN that Iran cannot build a bomb, though he himself controls enough to immolate the world a thousand times over…but Israel can have the ones that we gave them because…because. So arming people you agree with leads to regional safety, however anyone else that tries to split the atom can expect a (somewhat) surgical firestorm in order to destroy to keep the peace.

    Therefore it makes perfect sense to arm these guys in their geopolitical backwater, because the more weapons we have, the safer we all are. Unless bad people have them. So we kill them. Or better yet use our proxies to do it for us! So micro/macro it’s all the same.

    Makes perfect sense to me!

    edit: because I’m pissed off

    1. There is plenty to be pissed off about, but no call to be so misinformed. We never gave Israel any nukes, they built their own. We do not have enough nukes to immolate the world 1000 times, there are not enough nukes in the whole world to do that. North Korea, who is certainly not somebody we agree with, has developed nukes and we have not attacked them.

      But despite your lack of interest in factuality, I think I agree with your general idea: we have, many times, provided very dangerous weapons to very bad people (like chemical weapons to Saddam) in the name of stability or some other bullshit.

      1. Alright…I’ll take the hit for hyperbole.  Will you accept the US has enough firepower to ruin civilization for pretty much everyone at least once?  

        And damn if you ain’t right as rain: Jewish scientists…awful clever those guys.  Built the bomb all by themselves they did, with a little help from the French.

        But I don’t feel much better for my newfound education: suitcase nukes, neutron bombs, 1 megaton EMP capable, tactical nuclear artillery: it’s like they collected the entire set…

        Gotta wonder why they need us so badly then…

        Hey look, I’m showing interest in factuality!  I suppose I should feel better, knowledge being power and all that…but  I don’t.

  2. What, was the tuition at Sandhurst lower than the tuition at the School of the Americas (Oh, sorry, I meant ‘Institute for Intra-Hemispheric Cooperation’)?

  3. I’d think, given the stress Sandhurst places on teaching ethics and international law, as well as soldiering, that there probably are fairly good grounds for teaching it to officers from armies with poor records on things like Human Rights.  

    1. Yeah, but it’s like the college kid whose father gives millions to the university. No matter what he does, he’s not going to fail or be expelled. And he knows it.

  4. Is 952,301 now millions? So have we taken another zero off the end of billions again too, I must be getting old, I can remember a time when a million was 1,000,000 and a billion was a million million (1,000,000,000,000).

    Hmmm, I suppose if you convert £952,301 to some other currency, like say the Indonesian Rupiah then it would work out at roughly IDR14,766,336,589, but if we were to do silly things like that, then I could express my own value in IDR, which would make me a millionaire!!!

  5. Why don’t you take a look on the web and see how 391 Battalion is doing. These are the elite Light Infantry soldiers the US funded and you will see they are setting a very good example in Goma. For a country that has been so deeply entrenched in terrible atrocities in the past, this is not going to change overnight. Or do we stand back and watch the rebels who have defected to Rwanda continuing to bring unrest to the East of DRC ?

  6. This article is conspicuously missing the dates of the trainings.  That makes the difference between training soldiers to commit atrocities, or training soldiers to not commit atrocities.  Neither way would be proof exactly, but knowing the dates would make a big difference.

  7. @Cory The linked article makes NO mention of “arms”, so where do you get your “… and arming the military forces” from? And no, “military logistics” does not mean arming!

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