Sudan-Chad tensions increase

2009-11-08 13:34 Geneva - The Sudanese government and rebel groups in Darfur refuse to abandon the military option and are increasingly violating a UN arms embargo with the help of dual-use vehicles and aircraft, a UN panel said in a new report.

The Darfur conflict began in February 2003 when ethnic African rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated Sudanese government in Khartoum, claiming discrimination and neglect. Khartoum is accused of retaliating by arming local nomadic Arab tribes and unleashing militias known as the janjaweed on civilian populations - a charge the government denies.

In its previous report, the panel first disclosed the government's use of unmanned drones. In this report, it included footage from one flight in northern Sudan.

The panel called for stricter controls by companies on products and services that could violate the arms embargo or international humanitarian or human rights law in Darfur.