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Sudan isn’t concerned by allegations of chemical weapons’ use: FM

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October 19, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour Wednesday belittled the allegations of use of chemical weapons in Darfur, saying his government was not concerned by these accusations.

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Ibrahim Ghandour (Photo Suna)

"The government has not to respond to anyone who makes accusations against the Armed Forces" he said in press statements at the Sudanese parliament. "Up to date no one complained of any immoral practices or abuses," Ghandour further stressed.

The minister was commenting on the accusations by Amnesty International that the Sudanese army had carried at least 30 chemical weapons attacks in the Jebel Marra area of Darfur since January 2016.

Human rights activists have called for an international investigation on these claims, as the report says that 250 people may have died as a result of exposure to the chemical weapons agents.

Also, France and Britain called on the Sudanese Government to allow an international investigation of chemical weapons use. In addition, the head of the UN Peacekeeping Department, Hervé Ladsous urged Khartoum to cooperate with any investigation by the Organisation of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

However, Ghandour brushed aside calls to investigate Amnesty report, saying there was no complaint by any person injured by weapons that could be chemical. He further pointed that the peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) didn’t receive any complaint from the IDPs supporting these allegations.

The minister played down demonstrations and protests organized by activists abroad calling to investigate the use of chemical weapons in Darfur.

"We saw a lot of calls for rallies. In New York, there was a demonstration organized by 18 organizations denouncing the (human rights)violations by the government and calling for the fall of the regime, but there was only 12 people (at this protest)."

The purpose of these allegations is to impede the national dialogue and to spoil the improvement of Sudan’s relations with the international community, he stressed.

Following the release of Amnesty’s report on the use of chemical weapons in Darfur last September, OPCW Director-General Rogelio Pfirter requested the Sudanese government, a state party to the Chemical Weapons Convention, to provide "its official position and any other relevant information on the matter".

Sudan in its response to the request reiterated its commitment to the convention and denied the allegations reported by the international human rights group, says the OPCW in a statement released on 8 October.

"Sudan would not act in any way to undermine its obligations and responsibilities towards the Convention and Organisation and emphasized that the position of the Sudanese Government on this matter had been publicly expressed and confirmed ,’’ said the Sudan’s ambassador in his letter to the Hague based organization.

(ST)

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