SUDAN: Rights Body Accuses Government of Using Chemical Weapons

DARFUR SEPTEMBER 30, 2016 (CISA) – Sudan’s government has carried out at least 30 likely chemical weapons attacks in the Jebel Marra area of Darfur since January, Amnesty International said yesterday.

“The evidence we have gathered is credible and portrays a regime that is intent on directing attacks against the civilian population in Darfur without any fear of international retribution,”

“The use of chemical weapons is a war crime,” said Tirana Hassan, Amnesty International’s director of Crisis Research,” she added.

According to the human rights group, Sudan’s government forces were using what two experts concluded was a probable blister agent which led to the probable death of able 250 people as a result of exposure to the chemical weapons agents, Reuters reported.

The most recent attack occurred on September 9 and Amnesty said its investigation was based on satellite imagery, more than 200 interviews and expert analysis of images showing injuries.

Sudanese UN Ambassador Omer Dahab Fadl Mohamed in a statement said that “the allegations of use of chemical weapons by Sudanese Armed Forces are baseless and fabricated” and that Sudan does not possess any type of chemical weapons.

“The ultimate objective of such wild accusation, is to steer confusion in the on-going processes aimed at deepening peace and stability and enhancing economic development and social cohesion in Sudan,” he said.

Amnesty International however said it had presented its findings to two independent chemical weapons experts.

“Both concluded that the evidence strongly suggested exposure to vesicants, or blister agents, such as the chemical warfare agents sulfur mustard, lewisite or nitrogen mustard,” Amnesty said in a statement.

Sudan joined the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1999 under which members agree to never use toxic arms.

In a reaction the allegations, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in the Hague, which oversees adherence to the treaty, and whose organization’s executive council is due to meet October 11-14 said it would examine the Amnesty report “and all other available relevant information.”

According to the UN about 300,000 people have been killed in Darfur since the conflict began in 2003, and over 2.5 million others have been displaced leaving about 4.4 million people in need of aid.

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