Sudan court sentences 22 S.Sudanese to death: Lawyer

AFP , Thursday 7 Apr 2016

A Sudanese court sentenced 22 South Sudanese to death and jailed three for life on terrorism charges for fighting with rebels in the western Darfur region, their lawyer said Thursday.

"The Khartoum North court headed by judge Abidin Dahi sentenced 22 men to death, all of whom are citizens of South Sudan," the head of the defence team Mahjoub Abdullah told AFP.

All 25 had been members of a faction of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement led by Bakhit Abdelkarim Dabajo, who signed a peace deal with the Sudanese government in April 2013.

His troops were disarmed and taken to camps to be demobilised and pardoned by the government, which is where the 25 were discovered by inspectors and arrested last February because of their nationality.

The 22 sentenced to be hanged were convicted of a range of offences including waging war against the state, undermining the constitutional order and on terrorism charges.

"We will appeal the judgement," their lawyer said, adding the anti-terror laws stipulated he had one week to lodge his appeal.

The sentence comes amid poor ties between Khartoum and South Sudan over allegations Juba backed rebels in Sudan's border Kordofan region.

Ethnic minority insurgents in the western Darfur region mounted a rebellion against President Omar al-Bashir in 2003, claiming his Arab-dominated government was marginalising their region.

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