Sudan Used Chemical Weapons On Civilians: Report

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Khartoum: Sudan has been accused of using chemical weapons in at least 30 attacks on villages in the country’s Darfur region.

Human rights group Amnesty International posted video and pictures on its social media sites which it says show children with injuries caused by chemical attacks.

It says they show youngsters gasping for breath after an attack, and with blisters on their skin.

Up to 250 people may have died – many of them children – as a result of the weapons banned by an international agreement that Sudan is a signatory to, according to the group’s research.

The most recent attack is said to have taken place on 9 September.

Sudan has denied using chemical weapons.

The attacks are alleged to have taken place in the Jebel Marra area of Darfur, where the Sudanese government has been battling rebels in a civil war.

Human rights groups say the region has been the scene of ethnic cleansing by groups loyal to the Arab-controlled Sudanese authorities.

Amnesty says more than 170 villages have been destroyed or damaged by the “Sudanese authorities and irregular groups working in concert with them” since the start of 2016.

Chemical weapons are thought to have been used in at least 30 of these.

Amnesty says its research is based on satellite images, expert photo analysis and 200 telephone interviews with survivors.

Images in a video on its YouTube page show villages it says were heavily bombed.

Dr Keith Ward, a chemical weapons expert, says in the video: “We are certain that the kind of injuries seen and the explanations for what people saw at the source of the attack, could not be explained simply by the explosive effects of either conventional or incendiary munitions.”

Amnesty’s director of crisis research, Tirana Hassan, calls it “a true violation of international norms. It is a war crime”.

The civil war has raged since 2003 when rebel groups took up arms in response to what they saw as an attempt to oppress the non-Arab population.

The UN estimates 300,000 people have died in the conflict and 2.7 million have fled their homes.

The Sudanese ambassador to the UN, Omer Dahab Fadl Mohamed, said the claims were “utterly unfounded” and that Sudan does not possess chemical weapons.

He said: “The allegations of use of chemical weapons by Sudanese Armed Forces is baseless and fabricated.

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

Sky News

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