16 March 2017

Sudan: SPLM-N Head - 'Are Chemical Weapons Allegations Being Ignored in Sudan?'

Sudan — Yasir Arman, Secretary-General of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), has issued a statement asking whether allegations by Amnesty International on the usage of chemical weapons in Sudan are "being ignored deliberately."

Arman: "We have received the regrettable news from the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons that they have just appointed a Vice Chair of its Executive Council from a representative of the Sudan government despite allegations by Amnesty International on the usage of chemical weapons by the Sudan government in Darfur, and clear indications that it has been used in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile as well.

'If it is true, it is deeply regrettable and it demonstrates the double standards of some international organisations and the lack of ethics and sensitivity towards the victims... '

"This is unbelievable and we hope it is not true. If it is true, it is deeply regrettable and it demonstrates the double standards of some international organisations and the lack of ethics and sensitivity towards the victims of genocide, war crimes and the allegations of the usage of chemical weapons by the Sudan government."

Arman says that "the Sudan government is being rewarded and encouraged to continue its genocide, war crimes and infringing on the rights of its citizens many times. Muslims and Christians are targeted, especially with the current campaign against Sudan's Christian populations and some of the Christian leaders, who are jailed and their churches have been destroyed.

"In addition, the Sudan government continues its links with terrorist network activities in the region and inside Sudan as in the case of the Arkaweet explosion last month. We call upon those who value human rights, basic freedoms and the stand against genocide and war crimes to speak out against the attitude of rewarding the Sudan government despite its ugly record for 27 years," Arman's statement concludes.

Report

On 27 September, Amnesty International reported that at least 30 likely chemical attacks have taken place in the Jebel Marra area since January 2016. Based on testimonies from caregivers and survivors, the human rights watchdog estimates that between 200 and 250 people, many being children, may have died as a result of exposure to the chemical weapons agents. Khartoum denied the claims.

Hundreds more survived attacks but in the days after exposure to the chemicals developed symptoms including bloody vomiting and diarrhoea; blistering and rashes on skin; eye problems; and respiratory problems which were reported to be the most common cause of death.

The Sudanese government denied any use of chemical weapons. Sudan's Ambassador to the UN Omar Dahab Fadul Mohamed denied the report's conclusion. "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 was quoted as saying.

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