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[Dehai-WN] Africa-Confidential.com: SUDAN-UN clash over Beijing bullets claim

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2012 00:09:06 +0200

 <http://www.africa-confidential.com/browse-by-country/id/46/SUDAN> SUDAN |

llets_claim> UN clash over Beijing bullets claim


UN experts’ reports differ over Darfur arms violations

A seismic diplomatic row is rumbling at United Nations headquarters in New
York over the circulation of a damning report by former UN experts pointing
to the supply of Chinese-made ammunition to the Sudan government for use
against civilians in Darfur. The row exposes fresh divisions on Sudan at the
UN Security Council and disarray in Secretary General
Ban Ki-moon’s office. It may also unpick Beijing’s careful diplomacy as it
seeks to realign its relations between Sudan and South Sudan.

The report, which is circulating clandestinely at UN headquarters, was
written by three of the original members of the UN’s Panel of Experts, which
monitors violations of the UN arms embargo in Darfur. It argues that the
Darfur crisis, far from winding down as Khartoum and some press reports
suggest, is worsening, with new incidents of ethnic cleansing, arms
deliveries and aerial bombing. Africa Confidential has obtained two separate
reports on Darfur (available to download at the end of this article), one
commissioned by Ban’s Under-Secretary for Political Affairs, B. Lynn Pascoe,
which is highly conservative in its findings, and a more forthright,
detailed unofficial version by the three specialists who resigned from
Pascoe’s appointed Panel on Darfur in 2011.

Weapons experts Mike Lewis (Britain) and Claudio Gramizzi (Italy), and
Darfur and Chad specialist Jérôme Tubiana (France) resigned, Africa
Confidential has learned, after Pascoe’s department declined to take
seriously their complaints about the standards of competence and neutrality
on the Panel. The trio have now sent their own report – with lengthy annexes
– to the Security Council. This unofficial report details Sudan army
ammunition found in Darfur that appeared to be Chinese-made. Some may have
been made in the Sudan Technical Centre, a Sudanese military company in
Khartoum. The findings upset China, which says the report is not an official
document and should not be given a hearing. Diplomats from the United States
and Britain are nonetheless backing the report in private.

Targeting Zaghawa

The report also documents the role of the government’s officials and Popular
Defence Force militia in recruiting non-Arab militia for a campaign of
ethnic cleansing against the Zaghawa tribe. The leader of one wing of the
Sudan Liberation Movement/Army, Minni Arkou Minnawi, is Zaghawa. He angered
Khartoum by recently withdrawing from the Darfur Peace Agreement, which he
had signed in Nigeria in 2006. Deploying non-Arab militia is a new tactic
for Khartoum, which has long used Arab Janjaweed to kill. The report says
that up to 70,000 civilians have fled their homes in Darfur since recent
attacks in 2011, the highest number since the conflict peaked in 2003-06.

It also describes in detail the presence in Darfur of suspect Antonov
aircraft from Ukraine. The former Experts obtained photographic evidence of
at least one such aircraft parked next to aerial bombs. At least two such
aircraft have been serviced in Ukraine and have flown through European
airspace in 2009 and 2010. Lewis, Tubiana and Gramizzi also reported aerial
bombing of civilians in the Zaghawa strongholds of Shangal Tobay in early
2011; the use of an Armenian-registered Ilyushin to ship cargo between
Khartoum and Darfur for the army; and also five Sukhoi ground attack
fighters, which the Belarus government confirmed were part of a consignment
of 25 bought in 2008-10. A Sudan People’s Liberation Movement official told
AC this suggested Khartoum had long planned to attack South Sudan.

These revelations come as the main Darfur insurgent groups consolidate their
military and political cooperation with the SPLM/Army-North in the Sudan
Revolutionary Front. This new alliance poses problems for UN policy-makers
in New York who have to coordinate a global Sudan strategy through two
separate peacekeeping operations, the AU-dominated UN-African Union hybrid
Mission in Darfur and the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Neither
addresses the growing crisis in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states and the
Nuba Mountains. Khartoum banned UNMISS’s predecessor, the UN Mission in
Sudan, after South Sudan’s Independence last July.

In stark contrast, the official UN report was submitted to the UNSC in
February by a new Panel appointed by Pascoe and led by Debi Prasad Dash of
India. It has just four paragraphs on attacks against civilians in Darfur
and was unable to confirm Khartoum’s role in targeting the Zaghawa. It also
contains little on current arms embargo violations. Although it sometimes
criticises Khartoum piecemeal, it lacks analysis of political or military
policy. It often appears to take Khartoum’s assurances at face value, for
example, that the Iranian-made unmanned aerial vehicle, which rebels shot
down in Darfur in 2008 and which the UN examined, was there to monitor
locusts (AC Vol 49 No 18,
<http://www.africa-confidential.com/article/id/2769/The_drones_club> The
drones club & AC Vol 53 No 6,
heat> Opposition turns up the heat). Russia has blocked its publication at
the UNSC because it mentions Khartoum’s use of Russian incendiary bombs in
Darfur in 2009.

The new panellists are Issa Maraut, a French diplomat once based in
Khartoum; Brian Johnson-Thomas, a British arms expert; Mohammed Moufid, a
retired Moroccan aviation official; and Rania el Rajji, a Lebanese human
rights consultant, formerly with Amnesty International.

• <http://bit.ly/Ixp1ba> Final Report of the UNSC Panel of Experts on the
Sudan January 2012 Adobe PDF document (28.2 MB)
• <http://bit.ly/Ijpkqp> Report of former members of the UNSC Panel of
Experts on the Sudan January 2012 Adobe PDF document (48.4 MB)


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