Sudan Government Used Chemical Weapons on Own Population, Amnesty Says

Amnesty International says Sudan's government used chemical weapons.

Amnesty has also gathered satellite imagery that it says confirms 171 damaged or destroyed villages in the last eight months in a remote area of Darfur that is home to rebel groups that oppose the government.

“The scale and brutality of these attacks is hard to put into words," Tirana Hassan, Amnesty International’s Director of Crisis Research, said in a statement. "The images and videos we have seen in the course of our research are truly shocking; in one a young child is screaming with pain before dying; many photos show young children covered in lesions and blisters. Some were unable to breath and vomiting blood.

“It is hard to exaggerate just how cruel the effects of these chemicals are when they come into contact with the human body."

Amnesty bases its casualty estimate of up to 250 on scores of interviews it conducted with witnesses of the attacks and friends and family members of the victims.

“When [the bomb] landed there was some flames and then dark smoke," said a woman in her twenties who was injured by shrapnel. The woman said a toxic cloud immediately followed the initial blast, sickening both her and her baby.

"Immediately it caused vomiting and dizzying," the woman continued. "My skin is not normal. I still have headaches, even after I took the medicine ... The baby is not recovering ... he has blisters and wounds.”

The suspected chemical attacks come amid a large-scale military offensive launched in January 2016 by government forces in the remote area of Jebel Marra, against the rebel group, known as Sudan Liberation Army/Abdul Wahid (SLA/AW), Amnesty says. The government accuses the rebels of ambushing military convoys and attacking civilians.