China’s Small Arms Sales to Sudan Increased as Darfur Violence Escalated

A U.S. human rights group has alleged that China is the largest supplier of small arms to Sudan. From AP:

The report says China stepped up its arms supply to Sudan as others cut back to comply with a U.N. arms embargo, making China by far the biggest supplier of small arms to Khartoum — providing 90 percent of all Khartoum’s acquisitions between 2004 and 2006, totaling US$55 million. Small arms such as assault rifles are the most common weapon used in Darfur.

The report says that, as the arms supply increased, so did Sudan’s sales of oil vital to China’s burgeoning economy, a commodity the report says explains China’s interest in supporting the government of Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir.

Read the report on the Human Rights First website. See also an opinion piece from Zimbabwe’s Financial Gazette on China’s role in Darfur:

The Eastern giant has consistently blocked attempts by the four other permanent members of the Security Council — France, Russia, United States and United Kingdom — to impose sanctions on Sudan and members of its government accused of involvement in the atrocities, which have claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands and displaced more than two million civilians.

The Chinese have refused to speak out against the regime of Hassan Omar al-Bashir, who has vowed that there would be no international military intervention in his country as long as he remained in power.

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