Amnesty: Sudan 'flaunts' disregard for embargo, continues arms shipments to Darfour

Monday, August 27, 2007 | Posted by

LONDON — Sudan is defying the international community by continuing to send weapons to the military and a government-aligned militia in the war-torn province in Darfour, according to a new report.

"Sudan flaunts its impudence of the UN arms embargo and peace agreements by persisting to send arms into Darfour," said Larry Cox, Amnesty International executive director in Washington, said. "An embargo is only effective if it there are repercussions for defiance. The UN Security Council must strongly enforce this embargo immediately. Placing UN observers at all ports of entry in Sudan and Darfour is a good place to start."

Amnesty International said the Khartoum regime has continued deployment of offensive military equipment in Darfour despite the United Nations arms embargo and peace agreements, Middle East Newsline reported. The London-based organization said its assertion was based on photographs taken in July 2007.

The photographs showed Sudanese Air Force aircraft unload soldiers and equipment at Darfour's El Geneina airport. Amnesty said Russian-supplied Antonov AN-12 air transports, Mi-17 utility helicopters were ferrying arms and equipment to Darfour.

Amnesty said Russia has supplied a range of combat helicopters to Khartoum for operations in Darfour. The report said 15 Mi-17 transport helicopters were delivered to Sudan in 2005 and 2006, and 12 Mi-24 attack helicopters arrived in 2005.

"Aerial attacks by the Sudanese government on civilians in Darfour continue, with the UN reporting air attacks in North Darfour at the end of June," the report said. "Thousands of displaced villagers have fled the Jebel Moon/Sirba area in West Darfour after renewed attacks on areas under control of armed opposition groups by government of Sudan forces supported by Janjaweed."

Amnesty said an Antonov aircraft bombed in Taalba, Habil Suleiman and Fataha in mid-2007. The report said Khartoum was also supplying the Janjaweed militia, deemed responsible for many of the attacks on civilians in Darfour.

"An Antonov capable of such raids was reportedly transferred from Russia to Sudan in September 2006," the report said.
The report also said Sudanese forces were using militarized Land Rover 4x4 vehicles to raid communities in Darfour. Amnesty said Janjaweed fighters were probably participating in the operations.


"The proliferation of small arms and militarized vehicles in Darfour has led to an increase in armed attacks on aid convoys and other devastating attacks against civilians," the report said. "The Sudanese government has consistently failed to stop such attacks by ethnic groups using the government's own arms and vehicles."