Russia Accused of Shipping Arms to Sudan

Amnesty International has released a report charging Russia with illegally shipping arms to Sudan despite a UN embargo. In response the Russia Foreign Ministry issued a statement deny the charges. “No Russian weapons have been shipped to Darfur. . . Russia’s military and technical cooperation with other countries is in line with international rules and norms. Russia has fully abided by the provisions of resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, which ban arms shipments to Darfur.” In addition to Russia, China, Iran, Belarus, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait have shipped heavy weapons, small arms, or other dual use and military support materials to Sudan. Russia and China are the most egregious in terms of dollar amount and the fact that both countries are members of the UN Security Council.

Amnesty says different. According to the report, “Sudan: arms continuing to fuel serious human rights violations in Darfur,” states that in 2005 the Russian Federation “exported to Sudan $21 million worth of aircraft and associated equipment including spare parts and $13.7 million of helicopters.” The helicopters, Russian Mi-24s, have been used for indiscriminately firing on Darfur civilians.

In my opinion, shipping arms to Sudan makes Russia party to genocide. As Article 16 of the U.N. International Law Commission’s Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts states:

A State which aids or assists another State in the commission of an internationally wrongful act by the latter is internationally responsible for doing so if:

(a) that State does so with knowledge of the circumstances of the internationally wrongful act; and

(b) the act would be internationally wrongful if committed by that State.