15 February 2013

Sudan: UN Renews Darfur Arms Embargo, Sudan Denies Air Strikes

New York — The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) renewed on Thursday the mandate of a panel of experts in charge to supervise the arms embargo in Darfur amid fears materials supplied could be used by the Sudan government for air strikes in the region.

The 15-member council expressed concern that "the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of technical assistance and support ... could be used by the Government of Sudan to support military aircraft being used in violation" of Darfur sanctions.

Sudan's Ambassador to the UN Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman said the country intends to cooperate with the panel, but denied it carries out air strikes in Darfur. He claimed Sudan uses its air capacities only for peaceful purposes.

The panel was established on 29 March 2005 to monitor the arms embargo on the Janjaweed militias. Its mandate was extended until 31 December 2013.

Small Arms Survey published in September 2012 an article comparing the "flow of military resources into Darfur" between 2009 and 2012.

According to this report, all sides in the Darfur conflict had continued to gain access to military resources since 2009, which it attributed to the limited geographical scope of the embargo that covers only the Darfur states.

It suggested this limitation allowed international suppliers (state and commercial) to legally furnish arms and assistance to the Government of Sudan, despite evidence it is moving the arms rapidly and continually into Darfur, violating the end-user agreements.

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