Disarmament DiplomacyIssue No. 39, July - August 1999
UN Investigating Allegations of CW Use by SudanOn 2 August, the UN announced it was investigating claims that the Sudanese Government used chemical weapons in rebel-held Lainya, in the south of the country, on 26 July. The aftermath of the alleged attack - said to involving munitions dropped from a high-altitude plane, and which apparently left many villagers suffering from influenza-like symptoms - was witnessed by workers from the UN's World Food Program(WFP), some of whom were themselves affected. According to WFP spokesperson Lindsey Davies: "At this stage there is no conclusive evidence about what the substance is [which affected the workers]... The UN is conducting an investigation, including into the effect on the local population." On 4 August, Sudan's Minister for Social Planning, Hassan Dahawri, accused the rebel forces of concocting the story. Dahwari went on to claim that some UN officials were acting "under the influence of some hidden agendas that have nothing to do with humanitarian work."
Reports: UN probes claim Sudan used chemical weapons, Reuters, 2 August; Sudan - hidden agendas behind probe, Associated Press, 4 August.
© 1999 The Acronym Institute.