arms traffic

Pressure mounts for arms embargo on Israel

The UN Human Rights Council on April 5 adopted a resolution, A/HRC/55/L.30, reiterating the Security Council's call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza—and further calling for an embargo and prevention of the supply of weapons to Israel by UN Member States.

What fate for Rafah civilians as Israeli invasion looms?

As Israel presses toward an invasion of the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where 1.4 million displaced Palestinians are trying to find shelter, the Israeli military says it plans to direct a "significant" number of them toward zones in the center of the Gaza Strip. Referring to the areas as "humanitarian islands," Israel's chief military spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, did not provide details on how or when civilians would be moved when he made the March 13 announcement. Any Israeli invasion of Rafah could trigger an even larger humanitarian catastrophe in the densely crowded area, aid groups have warned for weeks.

Political violence erupts in Chad

Violence erupted in Chad this week shortly after the country's elections agency confirmed dates for a May presidential poll, which is supposed to restore democracy after three years of junta rule. Feb. 28 saw an armed attack on the headquarters of the National Security Agency (ANSE), which the government blamed on followers of the Socialist Party Without Borders (PSF), the main opposition party in Chad. The PSF denied the charge. But the following day party leader Yaya Dillo—a vocal critic of ruler Gen. Mahamat Idriss Déby—was killed alongside dozens of the others in a shoot-out with security forces at the PSF headquarters in the capital, N'Djamena.

UN rights experts warn against arms exports to Israel

A statement released Feb. 23 by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on behalf of United Nations rights experts warns countries against the transfer of war material to Israel, as such transfers could constitute violations of international humanitarian law if weapons are used contrary to the Geneva Conventions. The statement asserts that "states must accordingly refrain from transferring any weapon or ammunition—or parts for them—if it is expected, given the facts and past patterns of behaviour, that they would be used to violate international law."

Netanyahu orders 'evacuation' of southern Gaza

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Israeli military on Feb. 9 to draw up plans for the "evacuation" of Palestinians from Rafah in southern Gaza as it prepares to launch a full-scale assault on the area. Where people would be evacuated to—and how—remains unclear. Over one million Palestinians forcibly displaced by Israel's military campaign—now entering its fifth month—have been pushed into Rafah. Aid groups warn that there is nowhere left for people to flee to. People in Rafah are already experiencing disease and starvation, with aid operations struggling to meet even basic needs. A ground invasion would "exponentially increase what is already a humanitarian nightmare," UN Secretary-General António Guterres said.

US sanctions Sudan companies accused of funding war

The US Department of Treasury imposed sanctions Feb. 2 on a Sudanese financial institution and two private companies accused of funding belligerents in the ongoing civil war in the African country. The sanctions name Alkhaleej Bank and metal ore company Al-Fakher Advanced Works, said to be controlled by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), as well as development company Zadna International, controlled by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF). In a press release, the Treasury Department accused the companies of fueling the conflict, laundering money, and engaging in "actions of policies that threaten the peace, security and stability of Sudan."

Who's arming who in Sudan?

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has denied arming the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces fighting Sudan's army, despite a leaked UN document alleging "credible" evidence. The UN report said arms and ammunition shipments are unloaded each week from cargo planes at an airport in Chad, and handed to the RSF at the Sudanese border. The UAE has also been accused of funnelling weapons through Uganda and the Central African Republic, part of a regional supply network that has allowed the RSF to "punch above its weight" in the nine-month conflict. But the Gulf State—with business and political interests across Africa—said it has taken no side in the war.

Burkina Faso: drone strikes on civilian targets

Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report Jan. 25 bringing attention to three military drone strikes conducted by Burkina Faso’s government, supposedly targeting Islamist fighters. The strikes took place between August and November 2023 and resulted in significant civilian casualties at crowded markets, and a funeral, according to the report. A minimum of 60 civilians are found to have lost their lives, with numerous others injured.

Syndicate content