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|October 18, 2010|
Saturday, October 16, 2010
UNITED NATIONS - China has mounted a strenuous diplomatic campaign to block the publication of a U.N. report that claims that Chinese ammunition has been shipped into Darfur in the past year, in clear violation of U.N. sanctions, according to several U.N. diplomatic sources.
-- the findings provide some of the strongest evidence to date that Khartoum has routinely channeled imported arms and ammunition from China into Darfur, where the Sudanese government is engaged in a military campaign against rebels.
Sudan has been under a comprehensive U.N. arms embargo for six years. But at a briefing this month, a U.N. panel responsible for implementing the embargo told the Security Council that Sudanese forces have used more than a dozen types of Chinese ammunition against Darfurian rebels over the past two years.
The panel also reported finding recently manufactured shell casings from Chinese ammunition at the site of numerous attacks launched by unidentified assailants against peacekeepers from the joint U.N.-African Union mission. -
Under the terms of the U.N. arms embargo, Khartoum is allowed to purchase weapons abroad, as long as they are not used in its military operations in Darfur. But the report found that the Sudanese government had routinely skirted the sanctions - using recently purchased Russian helicopters, Sukhoi 25 fighter planes from Belarus and at least one Russian MiG-20 fighter jet in Darfur. --
Last year, the former head of the panel, Enrico Carisch, testified before Congress that the Security Council had failed to act on more than 100 panel recommendations aimed at strengthening the sanctions. He also faulted the United States, France and Britain for doing little to force a more public debate.