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Sudanese expats protest against use of chemical weapons in Darfur

October 10 - 2016 DABANGA SUDAN
Sudanese refugees protest against human rights violations in their country in front of the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 2015 (Thomson Reuters)
Sudanese refugees protest against human rights violations in their country in front of the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 2015 (Thomson Reuters)

Sudanese in various places in the world took to the streets on Saturday in protest against the alleged use of chemical weapons by government forces in Darfur.

Demonstrations took place in London and Paris, New York and San Francisco.

The organisers said that they want to draw the world's attention to what is happening in Sudan and the need to the arrest the perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the country and bring them to justice.

Sudanese demonstrating in front of the British Council of Ministers and the Sudanese Embassy in London, denounced “the brutal crimes committed by the regime in Khartoum in Darfur”. They chanted slogans saying “No to genocide, no to chemical weapons”, “Don’t join the fake National Dialogue”, and “Yes to regime-change and the restoration of democracy in Sudan”.

The demonstrators in Paris handed copies of a memorandum to the French government, the EU, the UN Human Rights Commission, and human rights organisations, in which they called for an independent international investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Darfur, as well as the arrest of President Omar Al Bashir and the delivery of food aid to the many war victims in the country.

In the USA, Sudanese came together in front of the UN headquarters and UN Security Council venue in New York, urging the international community to act and stop the human rights violations by the Khartoum government. In San Francisco the protesters rallied in front of the office of the governor and demanded an international investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Darfur’s Jebel Marra and the dispatch of an international medical team to provide services to the affected.

Report

On 27 September, Amnesty International reported that at least 30 likely chemical attacks have taken place in the Jebel Marra area since January 2016. Based on testimonies from caregivers and survivors, the human rights watchdog estimates that between 200 and 250 people, many being children, may have died as a result of exposure to the chemical weapons agents. Khartoum denied the claims.

Hundreds more survived attacks but in the days after exposure to the chemicals developed symptoms including bloody vomiting and diarrhoea; blistering and rashes on skin; eye problems; and respiratory problems which were reported to be the most common cause of death.

The Sudanese government denied any use of chemical weapons. Sudan’s Ambassador to the UN Omar Dahab Fadul Mohamed denied the report’s conclusion. “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 was quoted as saying.


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