Sudan: UN Admits the Arms Embargo A Failure


October 18, 2007: Money is a weapon. Economic embargoes have a very mixed record and they are not a decisive tool. However, they are a political signal. Private citizens and local governments cannot enforce economic embargoes on a sovereign nation, but they can do something that is like an embargo. That something is called disinvestment. At the moment twenty U.S. states have voted to "disinvest" any state funds (usually pension funds) invested in companies that invest in Sudan, Sudan businesses or Sudan government bonds. Over fifty US universities have also pledged to withdraw investment dollars.

October 14, 2007: Members of the southern rebel Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) are withdrawing their representatives from the government because "the Sudan government had failed" to implement 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The south Sudan peace process was hailed as a model for reconciling all dissidents in the Sudan. As recently as six months ago the South Sudan government said it would help negotiate a peace agreement in Darfur. This withdrawal from the national government is more than a major blow to peace to Darfur; it suggests the south Sudan civil war could re-ignite.

October 10, 2007: Mortar fire south Darfur town of Muhajiiriya has caused foreign aid workers to flee the area,

The UN accuses the government and several Darfur rebel groups of violating the UN arms embargo. The UN found that the government airlifted weapons and material into all three of Darfur's state capitals, El Genenina, El Fasher, and Nyala. The rebel groups received ammunition, light weapons, and some anti-aircraft weapons from neighboring Chad. Eritrea has also shipped weapons to the area. Eritrea is always looking for allies, and Eritrea has become a hangout for many African rebel and dissident groups. However, the likely reason Eritrean weapons are ending up in Darfur is money.


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