Evidence shows China supporting Sudan military in Darfur: ReportJuly 13th, 2008 - 2:38 pm ICT by IANS
Nairobi/Khartoum, July 13 (DPA) Evidence has been uncovered proving that China has contravened a United Nations arms embargo on Darfur by providing military help to the Sudanese government in the province, the BBC reported Sunday. The British broadcaster said on its website it had found Chinese army lorries in the restive western Sudanese province, both with anti-aircraft guns mounted.
One of the lorries was in the hands of the rebels, who had captured it from Sudanese troops, the BBC said.
Markings placed the lorries as part of a batch of 212 army lorries the UN suspected had been delivered in 2005 after the arms embargo was put in place.
The broadcaster also said it had been told that China was training pilots to fly Chinese A5 Fantan fighter jets in Darfur.
The UN says up to 300,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced by five years of conflict in Darfur.
Fighting began when black African tribesmen took up arms against what they called decades of neglect and discrimination by the Arab-dominated Sudanese government in Khartoum.
The Sudanese government has been accused of using the Arab Janjaweed militia to commit atrocities against Darfur’s black population and suppress the rebels.
Reports this week said the International Criminal Court will shortly seek an arrest warrant for Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur.
China’s official position is that it respects the embargo. It refused to comment on the BBC’s accusations.
China says it supplies military goods to Sudan only on the condition that the Sudanese government does not use the Chinese-made weapons and vehicles in Darfur.
China has invested heavily in Sudan’s oil industry. It says that Sudan should be engaged and supported to encourage an end to the Darfur conflict.