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UN: Arms Embargo in Sudan Still Being Violated

  • Noel King

The African Union Mission in Sudan says violence between Darfuri rebels and the Sudan government continues along the Sudan/Chad border. A U.N. panel of experts says that an arms embargo in Darfur is being routinely violated by all parties to the conflict.

The United Nations report charges that weapons are being funneled from Chad into Darfur to support rebels who have refused to sign the Darfur Peace Agreement.

The report says credible information suggests the government of Sudan is arming janjaweed militias and Chadian rebels who seek to overthrow President Idris Deby.

Meanwhile, the African Union says fighting continues along the border of Chad and Sudan. Clashes between Darfur rebels and the Sudan government began late last week, with both parties trading accusations on who triggered the fighting.

AU spokesman Moussa Hamani Al Zouma told VOA from Darfur that the situation at the border is both tense and complex.

"It was confirmed that the location bombed by the Antonov's yesterday was a border village on the Chadian side," he said. "Some rebels were assembling there. So, the situation is tense. You do not know what happens, if it is the rebels of Sudan coming from Chad or between the rebels here. The situation is like this."

The relationship between Sudan had Chad has been tense for months with each nation accusing the other of supporting anti-government movements.

Chad severed diplomatic ties with neighboring Sudan in April, after Chadian rebels based in Darfur attacked N'djamena in an attempt to unseat President Idris Deby. The coup failed and Chad and Sudan later agreed to repair diplomatic ties.

The U.N. report said the buildup of arms in Darfur has allowed rebels to continue fighting Sudan government forces in the region. Sudan is charged with launching a ground offensive in northern Darfur which has displaced tens of thousands of civilians in recent weeks.

The U.N. report adds that janjaweed militias have upgraded from horses and guns to trucks and rocket-propelled grenades.

Tens of thousands of civilians have died in the three-and-one-half-year conflict that began when rebels attacked government positions in Darfur, complaining the remote region remained undeveloped due to neglect by the central government.

Sudan is charged with arming militias to crush the rebellion using a savage campaign of rape and murder in what the United States calls genocide.

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