Bijan Razzaghi

Throughout 2016 there were repots of numerous chemical weapons attacks throughout Sudan’s Jebel Merra region in Darfur. These Chemical attacks were responsible for the deaths of between 200 and 250 civilians. The use of these agents was the first use of chemical weapons in armed conflict since the 2013 Ghouta attack in Syria. Like in Syria almost all the victims were women and children which has demonstrated the brazenness of Omar Al Bashir who was indicted on March 4th 2009 by the ICC for two counts of war crimes and five counts of crimes against humanity and three counts of genocide. Sudan is a major state sponsor of terrorism having supported Hamas , and in the 1990s hosted Osama Bin Laden who commanded many attacks against western targets from Sudan. The past relationship with terror groups is what worries many experts as Sudan’s Chemical arsenal can be accessible to these groups the agents include Nitrogen Mustard and Sulfur Mustard. The instability in Sudan is also a security issue as Chemical weapons can become easily available to criminal organizations, and terrorist.

It is unknown how Sudan acquired these chemical warfare agents many believe it is from a similar chemical weapons program Sudan had in the 1990s when the Al Shifa plant was bombed. The delivery platforms of these agents have been from attack aircraft such as the A-5 ,SU-25 and L-39. So far none have been delivered through artillery shells or rockets. Sudan has no known ballistic missile capability taking away the threat of long range chemical attacks. Chemical weapons are currently banned by the CWC (Chemical Weapons Convention) and stockpiling and use of them violates this agreement.