Amnesty: China supplies arms for Darfur conflict

From Amnesty International, May 8:

Arms transfers to Sudan fuel serious human rights violations

Arms, ammunition and related equipment are still being transferred to Darfur in the west of Sudan for military operations. Extremely serious violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law are being committed by the Sudanese government, the government-backed Janjawid militias and armed opposition groups in these operations.

In a report published today, Amnesty International (AI) describes the arming process and its effects on the people of Darfur and neighbouring eastern Chad, many of whom have been forcibly displaced. It describes violations of the United Nations arms embargo on Darfur by parties to the conflict that occurred during January to March 2007.

Amongst other things, it shows how the Government of Sudan violates the UN arms embargo and disguises some of its military logistics operations in Darfur. It details what types of arms supplied to Sudan from China and Russia—two Permanent Members of the Security Council—have been used by the government of Sudan for violations of the Security Council’s own mandatory arms embargo.

States supplying weapons, munitions and other military equipment to Sudan and to other parties to the conflict know, or at least should know, that these arms are often used to commit serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Darfur and now in eastern Chad. The fact that the UN Security Council has left the UN arms embargo on Darfur somewhat vaguely formulated and especially lacking a strong UN monitoring, verification and public reporting mechanism is allowing some states and persons to violate it with impunity.

AI is urgently calling upon the international community to assert its authority and immediately adopt steps to strengthen the implementation of the UN arms embargo and stem the flow of arms to Darfur as part of a package of immediate measures to help protect civilians and uphold their human rights as is required by international law.

A Global Arms Trade Treaty is needed to prevent arms fuelling such catastrophic conflicts. AI has been campaigning for such a treaty since its beginning in October 2003, as part of the Control Arms Campaign.

Read the full report:
Sudan: arms continuing to fuel serious human rights violations in Darfur (Report, 08 May 05 2007)

For further information, please see:

See our last post on Darfur, and our special report on China in Africa.

  1. Sudan denies everything
    From BBC, May 8:

    Amnesty International has accused China and Russia of continuing to supply arms to Sudan which are used in Darfur, breaching a UN arms embargo.

    A report by the watchdog says the weapons are landing in the hands of the government-backed Janjaweed militia.

    It includes photographic evidence of the Sudanese air force using military aircraft in Darfur.

    But the Sudanese ambassador to the UN, Abdel Mahmood Abdel Haleem, said the allegations were a lie.

    “Our reaction to the Amnesty International allegations is very easy – it is a total rejection as it is baseless and unfounded,” he told the BBC.

    “These photos maybe a plane in the Central African Republic or maybe for one in south Sudan, but it is not in Darfur at all. We are not on combat missions in Darfur at all,” he added.