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mia farrow

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August 18, 2008

China: "Most egregious violator" of Darfur arms embargo, $150 million worth of weapons so far

August 5, 2008 (WASHINGTON) -- China has been the "most egregious violator" of a worldwide arms embargo, providing Sudan with the vast majority of its small arms and weapons used for mass murder in Darfur province, a private study group is charging.

The arms and also political support are being swapped for access to the African country’s oil reserves, according to a report issued on the eve of the Summer Olympics in Beijing.

A copy of the report, due to be released on Wednesday, was obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.

In 2004, the U.N. Security Council imposed an arms embargo on all groups operating in Darfur. The next year, the Council extended the ban to the government. The United States and several European countries have tried unsuccessfully to expand the sanctions.

About $150 million in weapons had been provided by China to Sudan in the last decade or so. The majority of the weapons were small arms, much of which found their way to Janjaweed, a notorious militia accused by human rights groups of killing and expelling hundreds of thousands of Darfur’s indigenous population.

According to a U.N. data bank, China is responsible for providing 90 percent of Sudan’s small arms between 2004 and 2006, he said.

Through its state-owned companies, China controls almost all of Sudan’s oil potential, the report said.

As "the supplier of last resort for dictators and human rights abusers," China is also a major weapons exporter to Zimbabwe, Myanmar and rebel groups in Congo, the report said.

Many of these exports have included Chinese assault rifles and Chinese sales also have involved such heavy weapons as tanks and fighter aircraft, the study said.
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