PARIS, Sept 30 France said on Friday it wanted
an international investigation to decide whether Sudanese
government forces had used chemical weapons in Darfur after
allegations in a "worrying" report by Amnesty International.
The rights group said on Thursday the government has carried
out at least 30 likely chemical weapons attacks in the Jebel
Marra area of Darfur since January using what two experts
concluded was a probable blister agent.
Foreign ministry spokesman Romain Nadal, describing the
report as "worrying", said it carried very serious allegations
which had to be investigated.
"We think that the report raises questions for the
international community and so the relevant institutions should
look closely into it and examine the seriousness of the claims
to establish the reality," he told reporters.
The rights group estimated that up to 250 people may have
died as a result of exposure to the chemical weapons agents.
Sudanese U.N. Ambassador Omer Dahab Fadl Mohamed said on
Thursday in a statement that the Amnesty report was "utterly
unfounded" and denied that Sudan possessed any kind of chemical
Nadal said Paris wanted The Organization for the Prohibition
of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the Hague to investigate
thoroughly as well as the United Nations-African Union Mission
in Darfur (UNAMID) to shed some light on events.
Amnesty said the most recent attack occurred on Sept. 9. Its
investigation was based on satellite imagery, more than 200
interviews and expert analysis of images showing injuries.
(Reporting By John Irish; Editing by Richard Balmforth)