LONDON, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Russian and Chinese arms are being used to violate human rights in Darfur region in breach of an “ineffectual” United Nations embargo, Amnesty International said on Thursday.
Amnesty said Russia and China are supplying weapons to Sudan’s government despite evidence they are being used against civilians in Darfur, where the U.N. estimates as many as 300,000 people have died since 2003 from violence, hunger or disease.
“China and Russia are selling arms to the government of Sudan in the full knowledge that many of them are likely to end up being used to commit human rights violations in Darfur,” said Brian Wood, an expert on military and policing for Amnesty International.
“To help prevent further serious violations of human rights, all international arms transfers to Sudan should be immediately suspended and the U.N. arms embargo extended to the whole country,” he added.
It is not illegal to supply weapons to Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, but states are required to have so-called “end-use” guarantees from the Sudanese government that the arms will not end up in Darfur.
Russia is also under the spotlight for selling arms to Syria, where the government has killed thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators, while at the same time vetoing a U.N. resolution that called for authoritarian leader President Bashar al-Assad to step down.
China was the only other U.N. Security Council member to block the move.
Mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms in Sudan’s western Darfur region in 2003. Khartoum set out to crush the rebellion, unleashing a wave of violence that Washington and some activists call genocide. (Reporting by Mohammed Abbas; editing by Andrew Roche)