Target: The United Nations Security Council
Goal: Stop supplying Sudan with weapons to help stop the violence in Darfur
The violence in Darfur is fueled by the constant flow of weapons. In 2004, the United Nations Security Council imposed an arms embargo against all non-governmental entities and individuals in North, South, and West Darfur. These entities include the Janjaweed: the armed militia, which tactics have involved directly targeting civilians, destroying homes and plantations, raping, and torturing; creating a flow of Darfurian refugees in the millions, and killing hundreds of thousands of people. Some states, and countless human rights organizations, have called their actions genocide. In 2005, the UN revised the arms embargo, extending it to include all parties to the conflict, including Sudanese government forces active in Darfur. It did not restrict arms trade to the rest of Sudan, outside of Darfur.
In 2010, the UN aimed to strengthen the arms embargo further, adding a condition of “end-user” documentation. This means that transferring arms to Sudan is not illegal provided that the Sudanese government ensures that the arms trade is in accordance with previous resolutions, and the weapons will not be used in Darfur.
Amnesty International reports that Security Council members Russia and China are breaching the arms embargo, continuing to transfer ammunition, guns, and even attack aircrafts to the Sudanese government, even though there is substantial evidence that such arms are used against civilians in Darfur. Such evidence includes tracing the manufacture dates of weapons found in the region and finding that the arms were manufactured and transferred after the arms embargo went into effect.
Sudan has been accused of violating the arms embargo on numerous occasions: by UN peace-keepers, human rights organizations, and even by a special commission appointed by the UN, responsible of monitoring compliance with its resolutions. This should indicate that the end-user condition is not enough. The flow of arms to the country is enabling the conflict in Darfur to continue. Sign the petition and encourage the other 13 members of the Security Council to negotiate and try to push through a new arms embargo: an extended one that covers all of Sudan.
Dear members of the Security Council,
The atrocities in Darfur, which some would describe as genocide, has been going on for ten years now, and the situation calls for new action. The potential of the current arms embargo is diminished by the end-user condition. This has proven to be a highly unreliable tool, leaving too much power in the hands of the Sudanese government.
Sudan has been accused of violating the arms embargo on numerous occasions: by UN peace-keepers, countless human rights organizations, and even by your own Commission of Inquiry; and at this time cannot be trusted to ensure the safety of the people of Darfur.
Kofi Annan urged years ago that we do not permit Darfur to become another Rwanda. You have the power to ensure that. I urge you to remember promises made, go back to the drawing board, and extend the arms embargo to cover all of Sudan.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Albert Gonzales Farran via Flickr