Articles and Analysies
China has been silent about the war in Darfur in order to reap the benefits from Sudanese oil and the sale of Chinese weapons to the Sudanese government by Jaafar Mirmar
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May 29, 2010 - 9:13:13 PM

China has been silent about the war in Darfur in order to reap the benefits from Sudanese oil and the sale of Chinese weapons to the Sudanese government       


The China phenomenon has become increasingly active on the African continent in recent years.   Sudan is one of the countries that has strong relations with China.   Before Sudan's independence in 1956 the nation's economic relations with China were insignificant, despite good diplomatic relations. China and Sudan signed and established diplomatic relations on January 4, 1959 for the principle purpose of economic collaboration between both sides with the aim of improving business. The framework of the convention focused on investment, the development of Sudanese and Chinese economies and the productive relationship in the fields of diplomacy, economic trade, and politics.   Since then, business has grown such that their revenue now exceeds millions of dollars and they have become strong and close global allies. During this time China has supplied arms to Sudan and has continued to supply the Khartoum government with weapons since 1985, with transfers between 1985 and 1989 totaling approx 50 million dollars.  

Currently, Sudan receives most of its military equipment from the Republic of China and Russia Iran and India illegally, despite the fact that Sudan has a weapons production company called the Military Industry Corporation. It is claimed that this company produces ammunition, machine guns, and mortars, artillery, rockets, armored vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles, tanks and even light planes. In addition, China became one of the GoS's (government of Sudan) principal arms suppliers in 1994 and remains so today. In the era of Al-Bashir rule, China has started developing oil production in the country,   a highly lucrative enterprise given that the wealth generated by Sudanese oil does not compare with the value of anything else in country.   Other business transactions include Sudan’s natural resources exported to China - cotton crop and scrap metal.   Indeed China has taken advantage of these opportunities and has remained despite the negative side effects on business resulting from the conflict and despite the horror of the genocidal war waged by the Sudanese Government against innocent civilians but using the excuse of fighting rebels in Darfur.

So, Beijing has exploited the country’s situation which has been caused by the actions of Al-bashir. China shows no problem with continuing to sell their   weapons to Sudan and Khartoum has ruthlessly used these arms to destroy the civilians in Darfur and to attack villages   by aircraft. The Janjweed militia, with the government forces used these war machines cruelly against the Darfuri people and as a result,   the brutally violent massacre left the region of Darfur with 300 000 deaths and with more than 2.7 million having to flee their homes. So the key factor that aggravated this conflict, all other things being equal, was the involvement of Chinese and Russian arms because it is these weapons that enabled Khartoum to concentrate on the military option rather than on establishing peace talks with Darfur.

For some time, China has been planning for a future which involves investment with African countries. One of their main allies on the continent is Sudan. China has already achieved its ambition to control and exploit many of the resources, particularly Sudanese oil. Beijing’s demand for oil as a result of it fast economic development propels China’s engagement with Khartoum regardless of the catastrophe going on in Darfur. There is no hope for help in any way from China to resolve the problem. There is no assistance from the Chinese government in either working for peace in Darfur nor in aiding the Darfuri society’s struggle to further democratic values and strengthen respect of human rights.   Beijing merely encourages dictatorship and tyranny in Sudan and in many other countries in Africa.

Lack of obligation to conduct international monitoring of China has enabled Chinese weapons to be brought into   Sudan by   the Khartoum regime.   The evidence of the existence of these arms is clear. All of the weapons the rebels have seized from the Government forces in Darfur, including army vehicles and military equipment, are made in China and there are also Russian arms.   Every country in the world has a   right to buy weapons for the defense except when the country is safe and as long as there is no oppression against civilians.   Given the situation in Sudan, international law should prohibit the government from the buying of weapons. Khartoum should not be allowed to import arms.

Because the head of state Al-Bashir, himself, has misused his power, he is wanted internationally by the independent International Criminal Court (ICC) for masterminding of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.   Further, the decision whether to include a count of genocide against Al-Bashir will likely be released this summer. Moreover 65% of people in Al-bashir’s bureaucratic government are involved and responsible for the crimes committed in Darfur and for the current offences being committed there. The Sudanese Government is deliberately attempting to change the country’s demographic by committing Genocide. In that light, Beijing endeavors to avoid involvement and focus only on what they can exploit from Sudan on the pretext that China does not interfere in internal Sudanese politics. Moreover,   China, Russia, the African Union and the Arab League all vigorously oppose international law   and instead push for the protection of Al-bashir from the accountability of justice from the   ICC.   

Jaafar Mirmar – 07542142676

United Kingdom


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