Harvard Fellow Is Charged With Trying To Smuggle $4 Million In Firearms For Coup in South Sudan

On March 13, 2024, Harvard University Peter Biar Ajak was recently charged with trying to purchase and smuggle millions of dollars in weapons to South Sudan to help out with a coup.

Ajak escaped South Sudan with the help of the American government four years ago after asserting that he was a target of the country’s president, according to a Daily Mail report. He subsequently received refugee status, and has been on staff as a fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

However Ajak, and his colleague Abraham Chol Keech, a naturalized American citizen who resides and works in Utah, are currently alleged to have been buying copious amounts of weapons in an effort to send $4 million worth of Stinger missile systems, grenade launchers, sniper rifles, automatic rifles, and ammunition back home to aid in a violent revolt, according to a federal criminal complaint that was unsealed on March 4.

“Keech and Ajak knew that smuggling the weapons and ammunition out of the country without a license from the U.S. government was illegal and would violate U.S. laws. Nevertheless, in or around February 2024, they caused funds to be transferred to undercover agents through U.S. Company-1 to purchase approximately $4 million worth of munitions and other goods for illegal export to South Sudan,” the complaint highlighted.

Ajak previously worked as a World Bank economist and  lives in Maryland. He has been in discussions to purchase arms with what ended up being undercover federal agents since at least February 20, 2023. The complaint contends that Ajak and Keech tried to buy weapons from undercover law enforcement agents “to effect a nondemocratic regime change in South Sudan,” per a report by the Harvard Crimson.

Ajak received a master’s in public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School in 2009. He was put on administrative leave last March 6 after receiving the DOJ charges, the Harvard Crimson reported. 

South Sudan first became a country in 2011 and has been subject to a United Nations weapons embargo due to the alarming levels of violence between armed factions, in addition to the forced displacement of thousands of people. In press release that the Department of Justice published on March 5, it said the following:

:As alleged in court documents, between at least February 2023 and February 2024, Keech and Ajak sought to illegally purchase weapons and related export-controlled items from undercover law enforcement agents and smuggle those weapons and items from the United States to South Sudan through a third country. The defendants knew that South Sudan was subject to an arms embargo and that exporting weapons and ammunition from the United States to South Sudan without a license from the U.S. government was illegal and would violate U.S. law. For example, the defendants openly discussed the illegality of the transaction, expressed the need to be discreet, and agreed to pay a risk fee for the weapons because of the illegal nature of the arms sale. In addition, to facilitate the smuggling scheme, the defendants discussed disguising the weapons as humanitarian aid and paying bribes.”

The department noted that if the defendants are convinced, they could  face up to 20 years of prison time for conspiring to violate the Arms Export Control Act, up to 20 years for conspiring to violate the Export Control Reform Act, and up to 10 years for smuggling weapons from the US.

The harsh reality is that the US serves merely as a blunt instrument for migrants to exploit for their own sectarian agendas. Add in an Ivy League school with a sketchy reputation for producing foreign policy hacks, and you have all the necessary ingredients for chaos to kick off the world stage. Universities needed to be thoroughly cleaned out in addition to the US’s foreign policy being dramatically restrained. 

If we can’t get this sorted out, the US will continue spiraling downward.

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