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18 Darfur rebels sentenced to death

November 26, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - A Sudanese court on Thursday sentenced 18 people belonging to the rebel Sudan Liberation movement - Minni Minnawi (SLM/MM) to death by hanging.

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Two Sudanese members of a Darfur rebel group attend their trial session in the city of Omdurman, Sudan Aug. 20, 2008 (Photo AFP)

The session of Khartoum special court was held amid intensive security measures in and outside the tribunal.

The defendants were arrested following the capture of Ba’ashim area, north-west of Mellit in North Darfur on 25 March by the Sudanese army and militiamen of the Rapid Security Forces (RSF).

The defendants faced charges of undermining the constitutional system, stir up war against the state, using heavy weapons, looting and destroying the citizens’ properties and threatening local peace security.

It’s not clear if the lawyers of the convicted will appeal the verdict, which must be approved by the Supreme Court in Khartoum.

During the African Union (AU) mediated peace talks held in the Ethiopian capital earlier this week, the Sudanese government delegation has refused to release the prisoners and detainees members of the Justice and equality movement (JEM) and the SLM-MM.

The AU roadmap for peace and democratic reforms in Sudan provides to release the imprisoned rebels as part of confidence building measures aiming to create a conducive environment for the national dialogue.

(ST)