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Darfur rebels to be hanged for Khartoum attack

A Sudanese court on Wednesday condemned 10 rebels from the Darfur rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) to death for an unprecedented attack on Khartoum in 2008 which killed over 220 people.

“I condemn you to death by hanging,” Judge Mutasim Tajisir said in delivering the verdict.

The men were found guilty of terrorist activities, overthrowing the regime, destruction of public property and possession of illegal arms, he said.

“God is great! JEM is strong! Revolution, revolution until victory!” cried the defendants, dressed in traditional long robes, after hearing the verdict.

Tajisir, who ordered the release of three others convicted in the case, gave the defendants 10 days to appeal the verdict.

Fifty JEM members have already been condemned to hang over the attack on the capital’s twin city of Omdurman in May 2008.

More than 222 people were killed when rebels thrust more than 1 000km across the sandy expanse from conflict-torn Darfur in western Sudan to Omdurman, just across the Nile from the presidential palace.

The JEM, the most active rebel group in Darfur, last month said it would no longer hold peace talks with the Sudanese government after Khartoum’s expulsion of foreign aid agencies from the war-ravaged region.

The rebel group signed an accord in February with Khartoum on a package of confidence-building measures, paving the way for substantive peace negotiations.

But it said peace talks were no longer possible after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on March 4 for war crimes in Darfur. — AFP

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