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UN arms embargo on Rwanda (Non-Governmental Forces)

In May 1994 Security Council resolution 918 imposed an arms embargo on the sale or supply of arms to the territory of Rwanda and established a Security Council Sanctions Committee to monitor its enforcement. This was in reaction to the ongoing violence and genocide in the country. 

In June 1995 Security Council resolution 997 extended the embargo to non-governmental forces in the states neighbouring Rwanda intending to use the arms and matériel within Rwanda.

In August 1995 Security Council resolution 1011 lifted the embargo on the Rwandan government, but reaffirmed it on non-state actors within Rwanda or in neighbouring states intending to use arms and materiel within Rwanda. It also determined that States should notify all exports of arms or related matériel to Rwanda and that the Government of Rwanda shall notify the UN about all its imports of arms and related matériel.

In September 1995 Security Council resolution 1013 requested the UN Secretary-General to establish an International Commission of Inquiry to, inter alia, monitor the arms embargo on former Rwandan government forces.

In April 1996 Security Council resolution 1053 reaffirmed the embargo and urged states to prevent military training on their territory by militia groups or former Rwandan government forces. The resolution also required the Sanctions Committee to provide to the International Commission of Inquiry with information on the sale or supply of arms and related materiel to former Rwandan government forces in the Great Lakes Region.

In April 1998 Security Council resolution 1161 stated the Council's willingness to consider secondary sanctions (sanctions applied to states not complying with earlier resolutions) where credible evidence of embargo violations could be obtained. The resolution also reactivated the Commission of Inquiry to collect information and investigate reports relating to breaches of the embargo.

In March 2007 Security Council resolution 1749 lifted the requirement for states to notify the UN of arms deliveries to the Rwandan government.

In July 2008 Security Council resolution 1823 lifted the arms embargo on Rwandan non-state actors and dissolved the committee tasked with monitoring compliance with the sanctions. This was in reaction to the signing of the Great Lakes Pact. The Resolution stressed however the need for 'States in the region to ensure that arms and related materiel delivered to them are not diverted to or used by illegal armed groups.'

Last updated on
Embargo type: Mandatory UN embargoes
Entry into force:
Lifted: 10 July 2008
Establishing document: UNSCR 918