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China violated the arms embargo on Sudan – BBC report
« on: July 13, 2008, 11:46:19 PM »
China violated the arms embargo on Sudan – BBC report
Sunday 13 July 2008 07:00.
   
July 12, 2008 (LONDON) – The Chinese government is providing training and equipments that are used by the Sudanese government in Darfur, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) revealed in an in-depth report to be aired on Monday.


Photograph of Nanchang A-5 Fanta fighters in Sudan captured by a UN observer July 2007 at Nyala airport in Southern Darfur (Felhangardetj.blogspot.com)

The Panorama TV Programme investigated a batch of weapons that was sold to Sudan in 2005 including lorries that carried anti-aircraft guns. It showed pictures of plates on these trucks that have post-embargo dates.

The UNSC resolution 1591 adopted on March 29, 2005 placed an embargo on the supply of arms to all parties to the conflict in Darfur.

Human rights groups frequently accused China of supplying arms to Sudan for use in Darfur, in breach of a UN arms embargo and produced photographs of Chinese weapons in Darfur.

The BBC said that UN panel of experts was trying to trace these trucks when it was reported that they were sent to Darfur.

“We had no specific access to Sudanese government army stores, we were not allowed to take down factory codes or model numbers or registrations etc to verify these kinds of things," said EJ Hogendoorn, a member of the UN panel of experts that was involved in trying to locate the lorries.

The UN panel of experts on Darfur has said it wants to examine the BBC’s evidence.

Eyewitnesses were quoted as saying that powerful anti-aircraft guns mounted on the lorries were used against civilian houses. The witnesses saw one hut take a direct hit from the gun.

“An intense wave of heat instantly sent all the huts around up in flames” one witness, Risique Bahar, said. “There was a lot of screaming”.

The eyewitnesses said that during an attack on Sirba last February using these anti-aircraft guns, one woman was burnt to death, another horribly injured.

The report by Panorama also claims that China trained Sudanese fighter pilots on Chinese A5 Fantan fighter jets in Darfur.

Kaltam Abakar Mohammed, a mother of seven, watched three of her children being blown to pieces as they were attacked by a fighter jet on 19 February in the town of Beybey in Darfur.

The BBC has also established that Chinese Fantan fighter jets were flying on missions out of Nyala airport in south Darfur in February.

International lawyer Ms da Silva told Panorama that if China is training Fantan pilots, this represents another Chinese violation of the UN arms embargo.

“The terms of the embargo cover not only just the supply of weapons, military vehicles, paramilitary equipment. It also covers training any technical assistance, so the training of pilots obviously falls within the scope of the embargo”.

Panorama acquired satellite photographs of the two fighters at the airport on 18 June 2008, and its investigations indicate these are the only fighter jets that have been based in Darfur this year.

When Kaltam heard the sound of fighting early that morning, she took her children and ran.

"We start running near the well," she said. "We hid behind a big rock. Something that looks like an eagle started coming from over there. It looked like an eagle but it made a funny noise".

When the plane unleashed two bombs Kaltam’s five-year-old daughter, Nura, was dismembered from the chest up.

Her eight-year-old son, Adam, was killed instantly, as was her 20-year-old daughter, Amna.

Kaltam’s 19-month-old grandson still has shrapnel in his head from the fighter jet bombing. He cries a lot and often calls out for his mother, but she was killed in the attack.

Kaltam’s 13-year-old girl, Hawa, cannot grasp what she saw happen that day to her brother and two sisters. She rarely speaks now.

This is not the first time accusations were made against Beijing on breaching resolution 1591 on arms embargo.

Last March Human Rights First said China is the biggest supplier of small arms to Sudan. It provided 90 percent of all the African nation’s small arms acquisitions between 2004 and 2006, totaling more than $50 million.

China ramped up its small-arms supply to Sudan almost fivefold in 2004 as others cut back to comply with a U.N. arms embargo, according to data Sudan provided to the United Nations.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement the report was “groundless” and "with ulterior motives”.

He also denied that China had broken the U.N. arms embargo and said it never exported arms to a country or region under embargo. The arms sold to Sudan were limited in number and accounted for a small proportion of the country’s arms imports, Qin said.

China is considered as close ally to Khartoum. Beijing had been blamed for preventing the UNSC from taking concrete measures against Khartoum. China has important oil investments in Sudan.

Source
http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article27848

 



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