Sudan’s government has carried out at least 30 likely chemical weapons attacks in the Jebel Marra area of Darfur since January using what two experts concluded was a probable blister agent, Amnesty International said on Thursday.
The rights group estimated that up to 250 people may have died as a result of exposure to the chemical weapons agents.
The most recent attack occurred on September 9 and Amnesty said its investigation was based on satellite imagery, more than 200 interviews and expert analysis of images showing injuries.
“The use of chemical weapons is a war crime. The evidence we have gathered is credible and portrays a regime that is intent on directing attacks against the civilian population in Darfur without any fear of international retribution,” Reuters quoted Tirana Hassan, Amnesty International’s director of Crisis Research, as saying on Thursday.
Sudanese United Nations Ambassador, Omer Dahab Fadl Mohamed, said in a statement that the Amnesty report was “utterly unfounded” and that Sudan does not possess any type of chemical weapons.
“The allegations of use of chemical weapons by Sudanese Armed Forces are baseless and fabricated. 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 said.
Amnesty said it had presented its findings to two independent chemical weapons experts.
“Both concluded that the evidence strongly suggested exposure to vesicants, or blister agents, such as the chemical warfare agents sulfur mustard, lewisite or nitrogen mustard,” Amnesty said in a statement.