As the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, noted yesterday, the continued flow of weapons to into Darfur remains a cause of “grave concern.” Continued violations of the U.N. arms embargo by third-party enablers frustrate the international community’s efforts to secure a long-term peace in Darfur and exacerbate the humanitarian crisis on the ground. For example, transfers of arms and ammunition by China, Russia, Chad, and other states to the Sudanese government or rebel forces have helped sustain violence for the past six years.
Ambassador Rice’s comments are an encouraging reminder that the United States is committed to using its influence in the Security Council to pressure the United Nations toward better enforcement of the existing sanctions regime, including the arms embargo. To secure a lasting peace in Darfur, a steadfast commitment to stemming the tide of weapons is essential.