Sudan: China must use its influence in Darfur

Trócaire has written to the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Dublin expressing grave concern about the deteriorating situation in Darfur. As Sudan's single largest trading partner, Trócaire is calling on the Government of the People's Republic of China to use its significant influence with the Sudanese government to improve the prospects for peace in the region.

Trócaire has welcomed China's decision to appoint a Special Envoy on African Affairs to its Ministry but has emphasised how important it is for China to use its influence with Sudan responsibly. "In light of the continued atrocities against civilians in Darfur and the ongoing aerial bombardment of targets in the region by the Sudanese armed forces, it is crucial that the Chinese government raises these blatant violations of international law with the Sudanese government," said Trócaire Director Justin Kilcullen.

The UN arms embargo that prohibits the transport of arms into Darfur is being severely violated by the government of Sudan and others, according to a recent UN report. "The UN report states that the arms and military equipment flowing into Darfur are being used to carry out serious human rights abuse," Mr Kilcullen pointed out. "In light of this Trócaire is very concerned about the expansion of military cooperation between China and the Sudanese administration." This was confirmed following a meeting between China's Defence Minister and Sudan's joint chief of staff in Bejing in April 2007.

"In keeping with international law, governments must ensure that they do not transfer weapons or other military equipment likely to be used to violate human rights," Mr Kilcullen added.

Trócaire is calling on China to urgently reconsider its military cooperation with the Sudanese administration and intensify pressure on the administration to commit to a peaceful solution to the Darfur crisis.

To contact Trócaire's press team:

Republic of Ireland

Catherine Ginty,
Press Officer,

T: +353 1 505 3270
M: 086 629 3994

Northern Ireland & UK

David O'Hare ,
Press Officer,

T: 028 90 80 80 30
M: +44 7900053884