SUDANESE COURT SENTENCES REBELS TO DEATH


A Sudanese court sentenced 11 members of the Darfur rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) to death on Sunday for a 2008 attack on Khartoum in which more than 200 people were killed. The men, who were handcuffed and who yelled “Allahu Akbar!” (God is Great) as the judge read out the sentence, were found guilty of involvement in the attack. Eight others were acquitted and will be freed.

rebel-darfur1“For their actions in terrorising the people, and threatening the foundation of the state … aggressive sentences are required,” Judge Hafez Ahmed Abdallah told a crowded courtroom. The rebels were only a few kilometres from the presidential palace when government troops stopped them. They had driven hundreds of miles across desert and scrubland to reach Khartoum.

There are now more than 80 rebels who have been sentenced to death for the bold attack. None of those sentenced have yet been executed. The court in Omdurman is housed in a compound JEM rebels fired missiles at during the attack on May 10 last year.

The men were found guilty of 12 charges, including violence against the state and illegal possession of weapons. Their lawyer said he launched an appeal, as he had done for the previous groups who were sentenced to death. “I am only launching it as a procedural measure, however I am not expecting very much,” Adam Bakr told reporters.


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