UN panel denounces Darfur arms violations

The Sudanese government and rebel groups in Darfur have flagrantly violated a UN arms embargo and chosen a military solution to the conflict over peace talks, a UN panel said in a report released Tuesday. In the 93-page report to the UN Security Council, the panel painted a grim picture of combatants stepping up the violence in Darfur while expanding their attacks elsewhere in Sudan and across the border into Chad. Offensive military overflights, which are supposed to be banned, are also continuing with impunity, it said. The panel said the new UN-African Union force, which took over peacekeeping in January from a beleaguered AU force, "has proven so far to be incapable of defending itself or the civilian population of Darfur or fulfilling its obligations to monitor the arms embargo."