Sudan Accused of Violating UN Arms Embargo

By Kim, Scarlet | Arms Control Today, May 2007 | Go to article overview

Sudan Accused of Violating UN Arms Embargo


Kim, Scarlet, Arms Control Today


AUN report has accused the Sudanese government of flying weapons into conflict-ridden Darfur in violation of UN security Council resolutions.

The briefing, compiled by a panel of experts charged with assisting the security Council's Sudan Sanctions Committee in monitoring compliance with resolutions on Darfur, was leaked to the media April 17 by a diplomat on the committee. The committee, which includes all 15 members of the security Council, has decided not to make the report public after objections were raised by three member states.

According to the report, the Sudanese government has been transporting weapons, ammunition, and other military equipment into Darfur without prior authorization from the sanctions committee. The arms embargo only applies to Darfur, and Sudan continues to obtain weapons from multiple sources, including China, which recently announced plans to enhance cooperation with the Sudanese military. Russia also reported to the 2006 UN Register of Conventional Arms that it exported 12 attack helicopters to Sudan in 2005.

Despite EU sanctions against the sale or transfer of weapons to Sudan, a British company, Dallex Trade, was recently discovered to have been importing ammunition into the country. In an unrelated incident, Land Rover has been accused of supplying off-road vehicles to the Sudanese police, who have subsequently mounted them with machine guns.

The UN report also alleges that the Sudanese government has painted military aircraft white to disguise them as UN planes. The planes have been observed operating out of Darfur's three main airports and are suspected of conducting aerial surveillance and bombardment of villages in the region.

In an April 20 interview with Arms Control Today, Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem, Sudan's permanent representative to the UN, categorically rejected the report's findings. He said that weapons flowing into the hands of nonstate actors in Darfur were coming from "sources outside of Sudan," such as Chad, which he described as a "traditional rebel supporter. …

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