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Two Sudanese soldiers to hang for Darfur murder

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Nov 16, 2005 (KHARTOUM) — Two Sudanese soldiers have been sentenced to death by a special court set up to try crimes in the country’s western strife-torn Darfur region for murdering a civilian there, official SUNA news agency said Wednesday.

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A special judge, sits in court in Nyala Sept 30, 2004 to try six Sudanese men accused of belonging to the Janjaweed, who killed 24 people in the southern Darfur region in Oct 2003.(Reuters).

The special tribunal in Al-Fashir, capital of North Darfur, found Lance Corporal Bekheit Mohamed Bekheit and Lance Corporal Abdel Malik Abdallah Mohamed guilty of the premeditated murder of Adam Idriss Mohamed Hamid.

The soldiers arrested Hamid in Darfur last year on suspicion of involvement with the Darfur rebellion. Witnesses said they saw the troops beat Hamid severely after which he died.

The men have two weeks to appeal the sentence of death by hanging.

The Special Criminal Tribunal, which began work in June, was set up to avoid cases of alleged human rights violations carried out in Darfur being brought before the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Darfur rebels have little faith in the courts set up by Khartoum, saying they will only try common law cases, such as murder, rather than cases of alleged crimes against humanity.

Rebels in Darfur launched an armed uprising against Khartoum in early 2003, demanding greater political and economy from the central government.

Successive rounds of African Union-sponsored peace talks have so far failed to end the conflict, which has left some 300,000 people dead and displaced nearly 2.6 million, with Washington labelling the conflict there "genocide".

(AFP/ST)

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