Court sentences 24 to death for killing 35 people in tribal raid
KHARTOUM, Sudan, Apr 27, 2003 (AP) -- A court in southwestern Sudan has found 24 Arab bandits guilty of killing 35 African villagers last year and sentenced them to be hanged, the independent Akhbar Al-Youm daily reported Sunday.
The daily said the court in Nyala, 1,120 kilometers (800 miles) southwest of Khartoum, reached the verdict and sentences on Saturday. Two other suspects were sentenced to three years in prison on charges linked to a raid on Singata, a village near Nyala, and 12 were acquitted for lack of evidence.
The accused late last year attacked the village, home to members of the African Fur tribe, "from four directions, looting and killing anyone they found in the street and burning the whole village," the daily quoted Judge Mukhtar Ibrahim Adam as saying. "This barbaric and savage conduct, as if we were living in the dark ages, is attributed to the lack of religious deterrent and the feeling of tribal superiority."The raid took place in Darfur, a province where tribes have been fighting each other for years. Darfur is home to a fifth of Sudan's 30 million people and one of its least developed province. Clashes also are sparked as tribes compete for grazing land in a province particularly vulnerable to drought and famine.