Excerpts from UN panel Darfur arms embargo report

UNITED NATIONS (BestGrowthStock) – Khartoum has committed multiple breaches of an arms embargo over Sudan’s conflict-torn Darfur region and China has done little to ensure its weaponry is not used there, according to a confidential report seen by Reuters.

Following are excerpts from the report.

ON CHINESE BULLET CARTRIDGES FOUND IN DARFUR

* “Twelve of these samples bear markings consistent with markings applied by manufacturers in the People’s Republic of China. The Panel confirmed this in written correspondence with the Government of China. At the same time, the Government of China pointed out that non-Chinese manufacturers may also apply markings such as those documented by the Panel and that the photographic evidence provided by the Panel did not allow for confirmation as to whether the ammunition was, in fact, produced in China.”

* “Foreign post-embargo produced ammunition was recovered from the positions of the attackers at all three of the sites of attacks on UNAMID (U.N./African Union peacekeepers) personnel — including the attack in which three Rwandan UNAMID peacekeepers were killed near Nertiti in West Darfur in June 2010.”

* “The majority of small arms ammunition cartridges which the Panel encountered in Darfur have markings consistent with those applied by Chinese manufacturers. The Panel cannot exclude the possibility that manufacturers outside China apply the same markings.”

* “The panel does not suggest that the Government of China authorized exports of ammunition to the Government of the Sudan or other actors who the Government of China knew would then retransfer the materiel to Darfur in violation of the arms embargo.”

* “The Panel notes … that the Government of China, in its responses, did not provide the requested details concerning which of the relevant ammunition samples was exported to which specific state(s). This would have greatly assisted the Panel in excluding the possible pathways and states as potential points of leakage of the ammunition.”

* “The Panel also question the reliability of end-user certificates and assurances in which the Government of the Sudan commits itself not to transfer military materiel imported from abroad to Darfur.”

* “The Panel understands, however, that the Government of China does not verify respect of end-use undertakings other than by relying on statements of the Government of the Sudan, which … rejects any notion of non-compliance with its international obligations. The Panel considers this reliance on Government of the Sudan statements as problematic in the light of past and present findings suggesting violations of end-user undertakings by the Government of the Sudan.”

ON THE TRANSFER OF SUDANESE SOLDIERS TO DARFUR

* “The panel considers the increase of armed SAF (Sudanese Armed Forces) forces in Darfur without the prior authorization of the Committee to be a violation by the Government of the Sudan of its obligations under resolution 1591.”

ON SUKHOI SU-25 “FROGFOOT” ATTACK JETS IN DARFUR

* “Research by the Panel, subsequently confirmed by the Government of Belarus, indicates that the Government of the Sudan had acquired 15 such jets from Belarus since 2008 (12 Su-25 aircraft and three Su-25ub aircraft). The jets were delivered under a letter of guarantee by the Government of the Sudan that they would not be used in violation of resolution 1591.”

* “The Panel notes … that it would consider the deployment to Darfur by the Government of the Sudan of the jets delivered by Belarus since 2008 without prior authorization of the (Sanctions) Committee to be a violation of resolution 1591 … as well as, by implication, a violation of the end-user undertaking given to the Government of Belarus.”

* “The Panel further notes reports of very low-altitude flights by military aircraft in other parts of Darfur, including in the vicinities of camps for internally displaced persons. The Panel considers such low-altitude overflights to be intimidating and, therefore, offensive and in violation of resolution 1591, in accordance with which the SAF is to refrain from offensive military overflights.”

(Compiled by Louis Charbonneau; Editing by Will Dunham)

Excerpts from UN panel Darfur arms embargo report