March 8, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir Wednesday has issued a decree dropping death sentences against 66 convicts from Darfur rebel movements and pardoning 193 others.
The presidential decree was issued according to the provisions of articles 208 (1) and 211 of the 1991 Penal Code.
“This decree comes to promote the spirit of national accord and to create a climate conducive to achieve sustainable peace in the country in light of the recommendations of the national dialogue and the national document which expressed the will of the people of Sudan,” read the decree.
According to the decree, death sentences have been dropped of 44 convicts involved in the attack carried out by the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) on Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman in May 2008, besides 18 convicts from Donky Baashim battle between government troops and rebels from JEM and the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM) led by Minni Minnawi in 2014 and 4 convicts from Kulbus battle in 2011.
The decree also pointed that general amnesty was issued for 181 convicts captured during the Gouz Dango battle between government troops and JEM in 2015 and 12 convicts from Fanga battle between government troops and rebels from SLM-MM and SLM-AW led by Abdel-Wahid al-Nur in 2015.
It added “this is not the first time the president issues a general amnesty in order to achieve peace and accord. In 2006 the president pardoned all members of the armed movements signatories of the Abuja peace agreement followed by a general amnesty for 7 children participating in the raid against Omdurman in 2009 and a third amnesty of 21 children from the Gouz Dango battles”.
It is noteworthy that the presidential decree didn’t mention whether or not the pardoned will be released immediately.
Meanwhile, the Political Secretary of the former rebel group JEM-Dabajo Nahar Osman Nahar told Sudan Tribune that the presidential pardon included 7 convicts from his movement who have been handed death sentences after the raid against Omdurman in 2008, saying 20 other convicts were pardoned previously.
He stressed that the presidential decree included all convicts from Darfur armed movements.
The Sudanese army has been fighting a group of armed movements in Darfur since 2003 and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states since 2011.
Earlier this week, SPLM-N released 125 Prisoners of War (POWs) and detainees from the Sudanese army.