Sudan: Elevation to OPCW’s governing body a slap in the face for victims of chemical attacks

Sudan’s appointment to the vice-chairmanship of the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) despite credible evidence that it used chemical agents against the population in the Jebel Mara region of Darfur is a slap in the face for victims, said Amnesty International today.

“It is a total disgrace that a government accused of using chemical weapons is now at the centre of the organization set up to prevent such attacks,” said Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

Instead of being investigated for its alleged flagrant violation of the chemical weapons ban, Sudan has been rewarded with a seat at the high table.
Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International's Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes

“Instead of being investigated for its alleged flagrant violation of the chemical weapons ban, Sudan has been rewarded with a seat at the high table. This is not only disappointing to victims, but also amounts to a conflict of interest since the suspect is now the sheriff.”

Sudan’s ambassador to the OPCW, Rahma Salih Elobied, was picked as one of four vice-chairs of the chemical weapons watchdog’s Executive Council at its four-day meeting in The Hague last week, after having been nominated by the organization’s African member states.

Amnesty International in a report published in September 2016 revealed shocking evidence of the repeated use of what are believed to be chemical weapons against civilians in the Jebel Marra region of Darfur from January to August 2016.