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Sudan says international watchdog dismissed Amnesty’s report on chemical weapons

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October 1, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government Saturday said the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has dismissed allegations that the Sudanese army used chemical weapons in Darfur.

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In this photo released by Amnesty, the skin of this victim’s back shows multiple circular wounds that appear to be from freshly popped blisters revealing fresh pink skin. According to the group, these circular wounds are consistent with exposure to a chemical warfare blister agent such as sulphur mustard. (Amnesty Photo)

In a report released last week, Amnesty International accused the Sudanese government forces of using chemical weapons repeatedly against civilians in Darfur over the past eight months, saying chemical attacks are believed to have killed up to 250 people.

However, the Sudanese army spokesperson Ahmed Khalifa al-Shami denied Amnesty accusation and described it as false.

Also, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Gharib Allah Khidir, denounced the “fabricated and unfounded accusations”, pointing that it aims to obstruct "the pioneering efforts" to achieve peace and stability and to promote reconciliation in Sudan.

On Saturday, Sudan’s Foreign Ministry Under-Secretary Abdel-Ghani al-Na’im renewed government position regarding Amnesty’s report and dismissed the human rights group’s accusations as “mere tendentious claims”.

He told the official news agency (SUNA) that the report is “fabricated and full of baseless allegations”, saying the OPCW has arrived at the same conclusion after it examined both Amnesty’s report and Sudan’s response.

“[These accusations are nothing but] desperate attempt to draw attention away from the peace, security and stability that has been achieved in Darfur besides the national dialogue and the sincere quest [of the government] to end the conflict in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan,” he added.

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

SLM-AW ENDORSES AMNESTY’S REPORT

Meanwhile, the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-AW) led by Abdel-Wahid al-Nour said Amnesty’s report confirms what the movement continued to say during the past years.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Friday, the SLM-AW demanded the international community to carry out its humanitarian and moral duty to stop the massacres and protect the victims of the regime.

It called on the international community to probe the situation and to arrest those who are wanted by the war crimes court in the Hague, saying the numbers of the victims of the internationally banned weapons are far more than those which appear in the human rights groups reports.

(ST)

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