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Sudanese government condemns killing of Church elder in Khartoum

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Mourners and priests pray for the late elder of Omdurman Presbyterian Evangelical Church Younan Abdallah on Thursday 6 April 2017 (ST photo)
April 6, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese foreign ministry Thursday condemned the killing of a church elder, Younan Abdallah, at the Omdurman Evangelical School in a fight between two groups over the sale of the school by a contested committee.

Abdallah was knifed to death on Monday when he rushed from the nearby church and tried to prevent a group of men backed by the school executive committee from forcefully evacuating women protesting inside the against its sale to a group of businessmen.

The American embassy in Khartoum condemned the violent attack on the peaceful protesters and called on the Sudanese authorities to bring to justice "all perpetrators involved in this heinous act".

"The Ministry affirms that what happened is an isolated incident that does not violate religious freedoms and the basic rights of all citizens guaranteed by the Constitution and the laws in force," said a statement released by the Sudanese foreign ministry on Friday.

The foreign ministry stressed that the incident was a result of a dispute between two Christian groups over the administration of the school adding this dispute goes back to 2011.

It also added that the parties brought the case to the different levels of courts and even reached the Constitutional Court which decided that the Church be managed by the committee elected in 2016.

The statement said the killer of the Church elder is under arrest and will be tried in accordance with the law, and identified him saying he is the "head of the executive committee elected in 2016".

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Middle East Concern, an advocacy group for the religious freedom of Christians in the Middle east and North Africa, accused the police of colluding with the businessmen who bought the land from the school committee.

"Following Younan’s death, the police arrested Mr Shamshoun Hamoud, a member of the illegal committee who was identified by eyewitnesses as the person who stabbed Younan. None of the other attackers have been arrested," the MEC further said.

(ST)

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