Sudan uncovers 'fake rape' video ring

Sudanese authorities have arrested seven people in Darfur for producing fake video footage of villagers being raped by soldiers, prosecutors say.

    Sudan says rebels dressed as Janjawid are committing crimes

    Five of the seven - two women and three men - have already appeared in court in the north Darfur state capital Al Fashir and confessed to their part in the crime, the city's prosecution bureau said in a statement on Saturday.

    The north Darfur prosecution service said 13 people had already been arrested and charged in connection with the fake video for

    unauthorised wearing of military uniforms, adultery, lewd behaviour, inciting sectarian hatred and calling for opposition to public authority.

    It also stated there might be more fake videos as the investigation is still under way.

    The fake video was "organised by two drivers belonging to a foreign organisation", a statement from the prosecution body said.

    A Sudanese official said the two drivers had not yet been arrested.

    The video camera used to film the footage had been recovered as evidence and belonged to "one of the accused in charge of the information office in the Milleet locality".

    Political tool

    Sudan maintains that the allegations of rape have been used systematically as a political tool during the nearly 18-month-old conflict in Darfur.

    Rebels have manipulated the crisis
    for political gain, Sudan says 

    A 19 July report by London-based watchdog Amnesty International alleges widespread rape in Darfur, but made no mention of rebel involvement or atrocities committed by them, said the official.

    Reports followed soon after, citing rebels camouflaged as Janjawid committing atrocities against Darfurians in an attempt to discredit Sudan internationally.

    Khartoum has maintained that the Darfur conflict is being exploited by the US and its allies.

    Although the US Congress referred to the situation in Darfur as "genocide", an EU fact-finding mission disputed the use of the term.

    These findings were in sharp contrast to Amnesty's report as well, said a Sudanese official.

    The official added that Darfur had Africa's largest untouched natural resources which he said explained why the US and its allies were trying so hard to establish a stronghold in the region.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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