“”As I noted in the original version of this report, the use of chemical weapons by Khartoum has never been properly investigated by the UN; nor has the international community pushed effectively for such investigation. Despite very strong prima facie evidence that the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) had engaged in chemical warfare on a number of occasions, a decade after the end of the Iraqi Anfal the international community again showed no interest in investigating:
MSF [Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders] is particularly worried about the use or alleged use of prohibited weapons (such as cluster bombs and chemical bombs) that have indiscriminate effect. The allegations regarding the use of chemical bombs started on 23 July 1999, when the villages of Lainya and Loka (Yei County) were bombed with chemical products. In a reaction to this event, a group of non-governmental organizations had taken samples on the 30th of July, and on the 7th of August; the United Nations did the same.
Although the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is competent and empowered to carry out such an “investigation of alleged use,” it needs an official request made by another State Party. [N.B.] To date, we deplore that OPCW has not received any official request from any State Party to investigate, and that since the UN sample-taking, no public statement has been made concerning these samples or the results of the laboratory tests.
MSF offers several eyewitness accounts of chemical weapons in bombs, including a grim narrative of events in Yei County (now Central Equatoria):
The increase of the bombings on the civilian population and civilian targets in 1999 was accompanied by the use of cluster bombs and weapons containing chemical products. On 23 July 1999, the towns of Lainya and Loka (Yei County) were bombed with chemical products. At the time of this bombing, the usual subsequent results (i.e., shrapnel, destruction to the immediate environment, impact, etc.) did not take place. [Rather], the aftermath of this bombing resulted in a nauseating, thick cloud of smoke, and later symptoms such as children and adults vomiting blood and pregnant women having miscarriages were reported.
[N.B.]: These symptoms of the victims leave no doubt as to the nature of the weapons used. Two field staff of the World Food Program (WFP) who went back to Lainya, three days after the bombing, had to be evacuated on the 27th of July. They were suffering from nausea, vomiting, eye and skin burns, loss of balance and headaches.
After this incident, the WFP interrupted its operations in the area, and most of the humanitarian organizations that are members of the Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) had to suspend their activities after the UN had declared the area to be dangerous for its personnel.
[E]vidence has been found and serious allegations have been made that [N.B.] weapons of internationally prohibited nature are regularly employed against the civilian population, such as cluster bombs and bombs with “chemical contents.”
(Living under aerial bombardments: Report of an investigation in the Province of Equatoria, Southern Sudan, February 20, 2000)
Let us be clear, then: “chemical weapons” are a “moral obscenity,” a “violation of international norms,” only when a particular sort of people are victims. That we have so many reports of savagely destructive aerial attacks in Darfur, in many cases strongly suggestive of chemical weaponry, makes the hypocrisy of the international community on this issue painfully clear. All reports indicating the possible use of chemical weapons in Darfur during the period covered by this update have been highlighted ( §§§ ) in the last section (VII). There are many earlier such reports of chemical weapons being used in Darfur; there has been nothing, however, from the UN/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), charged with monitoring a ban on military flights over Darfur (UN Security Council Resolution 1591, March 2005) and presumably violations of the Chemical Weapons Conventions of 1993, to which the Khartoum regime is nominally a signatory.””