05/08/2007, 00.00
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Amnesty charges: China and Russia behind Darfur massacre

According to a report by the international organization, Moscow and Beijing are eluding a 2005 ban on the sale of arms to Sudan and are supplying warplanes to the Janjaweed militias to bombard areas populated by civilians.

London (AsiaNews) – Amnesty International today accused China and Russia of supplying arms to the Sudanese regime, which are allegedly being used to perpetuate the genocide in Darfur. The charges imply that Moscow and Beijing are violating an embargo on the sale of weapons by the international community to the African country imposed by the UN in 2005.

According to a report issued today by the organization, the weapons are landing directly in the hands of the Janjaweed militia, protected by the government of Omar Hassan el-Beshir, “father-godfather” of Sudan.

The ambassador of Sudan to the United Nations, Abdel Mahmood Abdel Haleem, described the charges as a “lie, an inference that is baseless and unfounded.” Amnesty presented several photographs with its report that show the local military forces unloading arms.

But Haleem said: “These photos do not constitute evidence. They may have been taken in the Central African Republic or in south Sudan, but not in Darfur at all. We are not on combat missions in Darfur at all.”

In the report, the group urged the UN Security Council to reinforce the arms embargo, issued in March 2005 to cover all the warring parties in the conflict. The involvement of Moscow and Beijing is said to be proven by photographs depicting Chinese military jets of “Fanfan” make, as well as Russian ones – Antonov 26 – in Nyala zone, near the war zone. These have allegedly been used to bomb densely populated areas.

The value of the overall investment is said to amount to 45 million dollars: 24 to Beijing and 21 to Moscow. This involvement, added the human rights organisation, shows that “some states, including members of the United Nations Security Council itself, are allowing ongoing flows of arms to parties in Sudan that are intended to directly target civilians in Darfur.”

The four-year massacre under way in Darfur has seen more than 200,000 deaths. The Janjaweed militia are accused of displacing and killing tens of thousands of residents of Darfur for ethnic motives.

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See also
Russia, China reject Amnesty claims of arms sales to Sudan
90% of the weapons for Darfur come from China
Satellite photos, eyewitnesses reveal Beijing selling weapons to Sudan, despite embargo
China asks UN to suspend arrest warrant against Omar al-Bashir
Chinese bullets against peacekeepers in Darfur


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