Belarus secretly delivers Russian warplanes to Sudan - paper

MOSCOW, July 21 (RIA Novosti) - A consignment of Russian fighter jets has been shipped to Sudan from Belarus, in an apparent breach of a UN Security Council resolution banning arms sales to the African state, the Sudan Tribune said.

The daily quoted an anonymous source as saying a dozen MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters were shipped discreetly by freight planes via a Belarusian company two weeks ago, but could not confirm whether the fighters were actually sold by Belarus or simply came through the country.

If the MIG-29s are used in Darfur, it would be in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1591, which prohibits selling arms to Sudan's government or Darfur rebels for use in the war-ravaged region.

Last year Russia was accused by Amnesty International of supplying arms to Sudan for use in Darfur, but the Russian Foreign Ministry denied the allegation.

A Russian air group in Sudan, comprising 120 personnel and four Mi-8 helicopters, provides transport for UN military observers in Sudan and carries out rescue operations.

The Russian peacekeepers are expected to stay in Sudan for up to six years.

Last May a MIG-29 was shot down by Darfur rebels over the Sudanese twin capital city of Omdurman, and its Russian pilot was killed.