The UN Security Council must take action over the conflict in Darfur, Amnesty International, after the Sudanese government rejected evidence presented by the organization implicating their forces in the apparent use of chemical weapons against civilians.
The Amnesty International investigation, Scorched Earth, Poisoned Air, points to the repeated use of chemical weapons in the remote Jebel Marra region of Darfur this year. Between 200 and 250 people may have died as a result of the attacks, many of them very young children.
“Images of children suffering from horrific blisters and burns, reports of bombs emitting plumes of coloured smoke, and of people vomiting and struggling to breathe – these are the macabre hallmarks of chemical warfare, gathered in our report and crying out for an international inquiry,” said Tirana Hassan.
Amnesty International’s investigation is based on testimony from more than 200 survivors and caregivers, as well as the expert analysis of images showing children with shocking injuries.
In a letter dated 27 September 2016, the Sudanese government dismissed the evidence in the investigation as “unreliable, contradictory and unsubstantiated”. Sudan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs has also denied the findings in media interviews.
“The world cannot stand idly by any longer. The UN needs to act. A cloud of suspicion hangs over the Sudanese authorities’ conduct in Darfur. Their sweeping rejection of the evidence only underscores the need for the UN Security Council to investigate what has every sign of being a war crime,” said Tirana Hassan.
Note to editors: The Sudanese authorities’ letter of response is available here.