Faina: U.S. knew about Ukrainian Tanks-Wikileaks

“Over the past two years,” says a December 2009 cable, from the embassy in Nairobi, Kenyan officials “have shared full details of their engagement with the SPLA as we have shared details of our training program for the SPLA, including combat arms soldier training.”

Several years ago, the southern Sudan government contracted to buy 100 tanks from Ukraine using its own funds. The first shipment of Ukrainian tanks took place in 2007 with little fanfare, and the second shipment was delivered a year later.

In September 2008, however, the Faina, a Ukrainian freighter, was seized by Somali pirates. It was carrying 32 T-72 Soviet-era tanks, 150 grenade launchers, 6 antiaircraft guns and ammunition. Initially, American officials were worried the pirates might offload the weapons in Somalia.

After months of haggling, a $3.2 million ransom was paid, the Somali pirates finally released the ship, and the arms were unloaded in Kenya. NYT
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