Iranians linked to banned drone videos in Darfur: UN



Iranians linked to banned drone videos in Darfur: UN Darfur: The 94-page report by the so-called U.N. "Panel of Experts," published on Friday, details arms violations by all parties in the Darfur conflict, which began in 2003 when mostly non-Arab rebels revolted in 2003 after accusing Khartoum of neglecting Darfur.

A counter-insurgency campaign drove more than 2 million from their homes. The United Nations says as many as 300,000 people died, but Khartoum rejects that figure.

There is no suggestion in the panel's report that the government of Iran was involved in the sale of drones or surveillance technology to the Sudanese military. The panel first reported on Khartoum's use of drones in Darfur last year, calling it a "clear-cut violation of the embargo."

The latest report includes still photographs from video footage taken by drones over Darfur in May and June, showing that the Sudanese government continues to ignore the ban.

Sudan's UN Ambassador Abdalmahmoud Abdalhaleem reacted angrily to the panel's report, saying Khartoum "will demand that the Security Council terminate the panel's mandate."

"They are just representatives of Western intelligence agencies," he told. "We are fed up with this committee. Our position is a total rejection of this report."

The panel said the "unmanned aerial vehicles" used in Darfur were equipped with video surveillance technology ordered by a fictitious company based in the United Arab Emirates.

It does not say where the drones came from or who made them, though it does say the video surveillance technology originated in Britain and is "not used for civilian purposes."

For this reason, the panel said, the Iranian behind the sale of the video devices to Sudan had to know their ultimate purpose.

Bureau Report