Progressive Media
July 3, 2014 Thursday

Arms embargoes are implemented by countries or international
organisations as a means to establish peace and maintain security.

Army-technology profiles the longest ongoing arms embargoes by the
European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN).

A partial arms embargo imposed by the European Union on China, as a
result of the Declaration made by EU in Madrid on 27 June 1989 in
response to the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, is the longest
running embargo still active today.

The EU has no Common Position on arms categories that are covered
under the arms embargo. As a result each country interprets the
embargo according to their national laws, regulations and decision
making processes, some EU members have therefore still allowed defence
related exports to China under the arms embargo.

The UN and the EU imposed an arms embargo on Iraq in 1990 following
the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990; while the EU did relieve
terms between 2003 and 04, the UN embargo is still in force as the
world's second longest running embargo.

After the fall of the Iraqi government led by Saddam Hussein in
2003, the UN lifted trade sanctions and restrictions on arms or
associated equipment needed by the new government of Iraq formed in
2006 but continued the arms embargo for other end users other than
the multinational forces.

The EU Common Position on arms embargo on Iraq allows the sale,
supply and transfer or export of arms and associated equipment needed
by the new Government of Iraq and the transnational force.

An EU-imposed arms embargo on Myanmar (formerly, Burma) has been
in force since 1990 and includes arms and ammunition, weapon and
non-weapon platforms and ancillary equipment as well as components,
repairs, maintenance and transfer of military technology.

The EU lifted all sanctions against Burma, except the arms embargo,
in 2013 in response to the political developments in Burma. The most
recent resolution now in force extends the arms embargo to April 2015.

The UN embargo in force against Somalia was implemented by the UN in
January 1992 in response to ongoing war and humanitarian crisis in
the country.

The EU also enforced an arms embargo on Somalia in December 2002,
but later partially liberalised it, allowing arms supplies to Somali
Government Forces for use in military training and humanitarian

The Organisation on Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
enforced an arms embargo on Armenia and Azerbaijan in early 1992
in reaction to the armed struggle between these nations in the area
of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The embargo, which is still in force, restricts the supplies of arms
and munitions to armed forces involved in the area. Neither the UN
nor EU have an arms embargo for Armenia or Azerbaijan however.

An arms embargo enforced by both the UN and EU against Liberia has been
in force for more than two decades. The UN imposed an arms embargo
on Liberia, in response to the Liberian Civil War, in November 1992,
while the EU-enforced embargo came into force in May 2001.

The UN arms embargo ceased in 2001 and was replaced by a new embargo,
which has subsequently been renewed through resolutions. Despite some
partial liberations in regulations, the embargo on Liberia remains
in place.

The EU imposed an arms embargo on Democratic Republic of Congo
(formerly Zaire) in April 1993, which has been amended, modified and
extended a number of times since and is still in effect.

The UN also enforced an arms embargo on Congolese independent armed
groups and militias that hinders the supply, sale or transfer of arms
and associated equipment or training aid to militia groups functioning
in the country.

An arms embargo on Sudan was initially enforced in March 1994 by the
EU in reaction to the Second Sudanese Civil War. It was, however,
later amended and reinforced through resolutions made in 2004.

The UN also banned the arms supplies to all non-governmental
organisations and individuals in the Darfur region of Sudan in July
2004. Following the formation of South Sudan, the EU amended the
embargo in 2011 to cover both nations.

The EU enforced an arms embargo on Zimbabwe in reaction to severe
violations of human rights in the nation, in February 2002. The
embargo covers the sales, supply or transfer of technical aid related
to military equipment and systems.

The embargo was been recently extended from February 2014 until
February 2015. No UN restrictions are in effect on Zimbabwe although
the nation is subject to travel and financial sanctions.

An arms embargo has been enforced on Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire)
since 2004 by both the UN and the EU in response to civil war in
the West African nation. The UN Security Council in November 2004
embargoed the supply of arms and related material to Côte d'Ivoire.

The EU embargo on Ivory Coast came into force in December 2004. The
United Nations arms embargo has been emended and extended several
times and will be in effect until April 2015.