Home | News    Monday 28 July 2003

Twelve student recruits killed in Sudanese road accident: paper

KHARTOUM, July 28 (AFP) — Twelve student recruits for compulsory military service were killed and 31 others injured when their bus overturned in a road accident in strife-torn western Sudan, a Sudanese newspaper reported Monday.

The bus was one of five transporting high school graduates from Al-Fashir, capital of North Darfur State, to a new military training camp at Nyala, the capital of neighboring South Darfur State, Al Rai Al Aam daily said.

The camp had been moved from North Darfur State to South Darfur State for security reasons because of the conflict pitting government troops against a self-described rebel movement, the independent newspaper said.

The dead and injured were taken back to their family homes in Al-Fashir while students on the other buses resumed their trip to Nyala, where they will undergo two months of military training before they can enrol in universities.

The paper did not say when the accident took place.

Last week, national security chief Salah Abdallah said the government had halted peace talks with rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) in west Sudan’s North Darfur state and instructed its negotiators to return.

The security official has accused Sudan’s southern rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) of despatching munition to the rebels in Darfur.

The government had previously refused to acknowledge any political motivation for the unrest among the sedentary peoples of North, South and West Darfur states, blaming it instead on "armed criminal gangs and outlaws".