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|December 4, 2009|
By Colum Lynch <http://projects.washingtonpost.com/staff/articles/colum+lynch/>
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 4, 2009
A former top U.N. investigator on Thursday accused the Obama administration of failing to enforce a five-year-old arms embargo in Darfur, Sudan, and said weapons continue to flow into the region. : Sudan in Crisis <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/world/interactives/sudan/>
Enrico Carisch, a Swiss national who until October led a U.N. panel investigating violations of the arms embargo, contrasted the administration's efforts with those of President George W. Bush, noting the previous administration's strong advocacy of sanctions against Sudan.
"In contrast to that leadership of 2004 and 2005, the United States appears to have now joined the group of influential states who sit by quietly and do nothing to ensure that sanctions work to protect Darfurians," Carisch said in written testimony for an appearance before the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa.
Carisch said key architects of the U.N. arms embargo -- the United States, France and Britain -- have lessened their commitment to enforcing sanctions as U.S.-led efforts to revive peace talks in Sudan have gained traction. "Increasingly it looks like poorly understood and under-enforced U.N. sanctions are being sold out in favor of mediation whose success is far from ensured," he said.
The U.N. Security Council, he noted, has dismissed nearly 100 recommendations in recent years aimed at strengthening the sanctions, including proposals to extend them to all of Sudan. He also said U.S., French and British officials have done little to press for an official debate on the arms embargo in the Security Council.
Carisch alleged that large amounts of foreign ammunition and weapons, principally from China and Chad, have illegally made their way into Darfur in recent years, fueling a conflict that has left more than 300,000 dead and driven more than 2.7 million from their homes.