[QODLink]
Africa

Sudan rebel leaders sentenced to death

Sentence comes weeks after the African Union adjourns talks it was brokering between the rebels and Sudan's government.

Last updated: 13 Mar 2014 21:02
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Malik Agar, head of SPLM-N rebel group, is one of seventeen people sentenced to death in absentia [Reuters]

Two leaders from the main rebel alliance fighting Sudan's president and 15 members of their group were sentenced to death in absentia, their lawyer said, a move that will raise the stakes in fighting in southern regions.

Malik Agar, who was governor of Sudan's remote Blue Nile state before taking up arms, and Yassir Arman, who stood against Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir in the 2010 elections, both received death sentences, lawyer Altujani Hassan told Reuters on Thursday.

"The judge Abdelmonem Youness sentenced (them) over staging a war against the state... and terrorism," Altujani Hassan said.

Agar is now the head, and Arman the secretary general, of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement - North (SPLM-N), which is particularly active in southern Blue Nile and oil-producing South Kordofan regions.

Talks adjourned

The movement is part of a rebel umbrella group, also covering strife-torn Darfur in the west, that says it is fighting to bring in democratic reforms and topple Bashir. Khartoum has branded its members terrorists.

The sentence came weeks after the African Union adjourned talks it was brokering between SPLM-N and Sudan's government, saying both sides were deadlocked.

Fighting between the two sides has displaced or severely affected more than 900,000 people, according to the United Nations.

SPLM-N includes many fighters who sided with South Sudanese rebels in decades of civil war that ended in a 2005 peace deal that paved the way, in 2011, to the secession of South Sudan.

Both Agar and Arman were senior members of South Sudan's rebel SPLM, which is now that country's ruling party. 

Khartoum has accused South Sudan of backing the rebels in South Kordofan and Blue Nile - states on the border between the two countries. South Sudan's government has dismissed the accusation.

269

Source:
Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.