HRF Response to China’s Report Rebuke

Betsy Apple, director of the Crimes Against Humanity Program at Human Rights First, made the following statement today in response to China’s rebuke of the organization’s new report exposing Chinese arms sales to Sudan:


“Human Rights First has never claimed that China is the largest overall arms supplier to Sudan, as the Chinese government asserted today. Rather, we have shown that during the height of the violence in Darfur, China was by far largest supplier of small arms, the weapons of choice for the government-backed militias that have killed, raped, maimed, and left homeless countless numbers of civilians in Darfur. Instead of trying to diminish the role that Chinese weapons have played in fueling the violence in Darfur, the government of China should be focused on taking all efforts to promote peace. One clear step is to immediately halt all arms transfers from China to Sudan.”

“The government of China’s assertion today that its arms sales policies are “always highly prudent” is contradicted by its actions. After the government of Sudan refused to obey the Security Council’s 2005 arms embargo on Darfur—and publicly stated that it would transfer weapons as it pleased within Sudan–China continued to make huge shipments of small arms to Khartoum. This allowed the Sudanese government to continue to supply weapons to the militias committing atrocities in Darfur. Such decisions are the opposite of prudent; they fail to promote peace.”


Published on March 14, 2008


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