The UN Security Council has imposed an arms embargo on Darfur, requiring that all States take the necessary measures to prevent the supply of arms and related materiel of all types—and also of technical training and assistance—in relation to actors operating in Darfur. In Resolution 2200 (2015), the Security Council determined that the situation in Sudan continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region and calls upon the government of Sudan to, inter alia:
“address the illicit transfer, destabilizing accumulation, and misuse of small arms and light weapons in Darfur, which also contributes to instability in the region, and further to ensure the safe and effective management, storage and security of their stockpiles of small arms and light weapons, and the collection and/or destruction of surplus, seized, unmarked, or illicitly held weapons and ammunition”.
Persistent instability in the States bordering Sudan to the west (Central African Republic, Chad and Libya), the porous nature of their borders with Sudan, and the existence of nomadic, pastoralist tribes whose range spans these borders, all combine to facilitate the illicit, cross-border movement of SALW into Sudan. The collapse of the Libyan government in 2011, and the large-scale looting of SALW stockpiles that ensued, greatly increased the supply of illicit weapons in the region, a portion of which has been trafficked into Sudan.
Sudan—in particular the west, south and east—is awash with SALW. Curbing the continued proliferation and easy availability of these weapons, and collecting and destroying them once the political situation improves, will be key to stabilising the country and returning it to the path of development.
During a mission to Sudan on 12-16 October 2015, the ISACS Inter-Agency Support Unit:
- Participated in the “Community Stabilization Workshop: Sudanese and Regional Perspectives” organised by the Sudan DDR Commission (SDDRC) and UNDP Sudan;
- Facilitated a panel discussion on “Local Peace Initiatives, Prevention of Armed Violence and Small Arms Control.”
- Observed and contributed to an “Arms Marking and Registration Workshop” organised by the SDDRC and the Bonn International Centre for Conversion (BICC) and implemented by the Regional Centre on Small Arms in the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa and Bordering States (RECSA); and
- Reviewed and provided feedback on the draft National Action Plan on the control of small arms and light weapons in Sudan.