Russia insisted on a loophole in the UN sanctions against Sudan allowing to sell arms to the country.
Military observer Aliaksandr Alesin spoke to charter97.org about sales of Belarusian Su-24 attack planes.
“The UN resolution does not prohibit selling weapons and military equipment to Sudan's official regime if it guarantees the seller that the weapons won't be used for internal aims: fight against opposition and civilians, etc. It was the idea of Russia, a big arms dealer. If the Sudanese government gives this paper, sellers don't bear any responsibility. But we know the value of words of any repressive regime. This is Russia's loophole in the sanctions against Sudan. It allows every country to sell them arms. From a legal point of view, Belarus doesn't violate international law due to Russia's amendments. The question is moral responsibility, because using hi-tech weapons against own citizens is immoral,” the expert stressed.
He noted that Belarusian attack aircraft had been delivered to Sudan by air transport. “A disassembled Su-24 can be carried by an IL-76 airlifter, which can reach Sudan with refuelling in Belarus's friendly countries, for example, Yemen. Belarusian air transport companies perform commercial flights. No one knows what planes carry. Companies can transport everything if they don't violate international law,” the military observer is confident.
He thinks sales of attack aircraft to Sudan is a serious matter, because removing these planes from operational use considerably decreases capabilities of aviation of Belarus which cannot afford large land operations any more.
“These planes were withdrawn because they are very old. They were developed in the late 1960s and produced in the 1970s. Moreover, they are vulnerable to accidents. It is the most unrelyable plane of the Soviet, Russian and Belarusian air forces. It's also important that these planes are in demand in the international market. It is an attack bomber with a rather long range and bomb capacity of 8 tonnes able to carry various types of ordnance,” Aliaksandr Alesin says.
We remind that about 10 Belarusian bombers were recently found at an air base in Sudan.