The recent Amnesty International report offers strong indicative evidence of the use of chemical weapons by the government of Sudan in Darfur. It has uncovered the appalling horrors befalling innocent civilians caught in the grip of a genocidal war when the world is neither looking nor hearing anguished cries of the victims. The report sets forth a qualitatively new dimension to the genocidal war in Sudan, and as such, the people of Sudan, the region and the International Community should take it seriously. The Sudan government has continuously undermined the international humanitarian law; therefore, this time, it should not be business as usual.
Dr. Tom Catena, the dedicated humanitarian personality and surgeon at the Mercy Hospital in the Nuba Mountains, had testified that he cared for victims who suffered paralysis, blurred vision, vomiting and some with diarrhoea. In his view, these are undeniable symptoms of exposure to organic phosphate or nerve gas. Moreover, Amnesty international report on the use of cluster bombs in the Two-Areas.
These disturbing developments exposes as mere PR the government’s assertions regarding its readiness to negotiate a peaceful settlement to end the genocidal war it is carrying out in Darfur, South Kordofan/Nuba Mountain and Blue Nile. It is clear the government whilst talking about a peaceful settlement is in reality pursuing genocide against the civilian population as a means of ending the war. In fact the Sudan government is using the political process as a cover-up to prolong the humanitarian suffering, and we can only unlock the political process by addressing the humanitarian crisis as an entry point to the political process by reaching a humanitarian cession of hostilities.
The SPLM-N can no longer afford political engagement at the expense of the humanitarian crisis and the need for civilian protection in accordance with international humanitarian law and the customary international law to which the Sudan government is a party, including the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapon.
It is worth mentioning that the Sudan government is building up military forces from its militias and army preparing for a dry-season offensive into Nuba Mountain and Blue Nile, which usually results in more civilian casualties.
Taking all of the above into consideration, the SPLM-N leadership after internal consultations resolved the following:
1. An immediate suspension of political engagement with the Sudan government on all political matters, including national dialogue and peace political track negotiations.
2. The SPLM-N will be ready only to negotiate a humanitarian cession of hostilities that would address the humanitarian crisis and provide civilian protection.
3. The SPLM-N demands that Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons investigates the use of chemical weapons in three areas of Darfur, Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile; and appeal to the international community to support this just demand.
October 21st 2016