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Darfuris in Belgium protest against use of chemical weapons

October 31 - 2016 BRUSSELS
Sudanese refugees protest against human rights violations in their country in front of the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel (Thomson Reuters)
Sudanese refugees protest against human rights violations in their country in front of the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel (Thomson Reuters)

On Saturday, members of the Association of Darfuris in Belgium, together with civil society activists, staged a protest in front of the EU headquarters in Brussels.

The demonstrators called on the EU to pressure for an investigation into the Sudanese government’s alleged use of chemical weapons “against its own people in Darfur”.

They carried banners denouncing the use of chemical weapons, demanded an end to the wars in Darfur, the Blue Nile, and the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan, and called for the arrest of President Omar Al Bashir.

On 29 September, Amnesty International released a report indicating that at least 30 likely chemical attacks have taken place in the Jebel Marra area since January this year. The attacks killed about 250 people, mostly children, Amnesty stated.

The report has sparked wide condemnation in Sudan and abroad. The rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) suspended “all political engagement” with the Sudanese government on peace negotiations about Darfur.

In Austria, the Netherlands, the USA, and the UK, people protested the alleged use of chemical weapons in Sudan’s conflict-torn western region.

Khartoum resolutely denies the allegations, and intends to counter the international uproar by filing a lawsuit against the international human rights watchdog.

Independent munitions experts have asserted that the ‘evidence’ cited in the Amnesty report could be the residue of conventional bombing, but as Sudan has thus far prohibited any formal investigation on the ground, there is no conclusive way of proving or disproving the allegations.


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