SUDAN WATCH: Putin Bans Weapons Sales to Janjaweed, Unofficial Groups in Sudan

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Putin Bans Weapons Sales to Janjaweed, Unofficial Groups in Sudan

On October 25, 2004, Moscow News reported that Vladmir Putin has signed a decree banning the sale of all weapons to non-government bodies in Sudan, including the Janjaweed armed groups that have been accused by the international community of genocide in the southern province of Darfur.

The Russian president signed the document “On measures to implement UN Security Council resolution 1556 of 30 July 2004” on Monday, gauging fears his trade with the African state was fueling ethnic strife there by supplying weapons used to kill civilians.

Sudan was billed as Russia’s biggest arms client — since 2002, it has procured MiG-29 fighter-jets, Mi-24 attack helicopters and a range of weapons and munitions.

But Russian weapons sales to Sudan — which were labeled a “model in the use of Russian military platforms to quell an African insurgency” by Middle Eastern news agencies — have sparked concern that the weapons are being used by the Janjaweed in raids against civilians in Darfur to quell what Sudan has called an uprising, but what international groups are saying is genocide.

[via Patrick Hall at The Horn of Africa]

Pity Mr Putin did not extend his decree to include the Government of Sudan. Several months ago I posted something about GoS telling Minsk it had a whole load of spare cash to spend on new weaponary.

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