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Sudan Darfur court sentences two soldiers to death

11/17/2005 7:08pm

NYALA, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Sudan's special court for Darfur crimes has sentenced two army soldiers to death for torturing and killing a civilian, the head of the court said on Thursday.

The U.N. Security Council has asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate alleged war crimes in Darfur but Sudan has said it would not extradite anyone, preferring to form its own court to try suspects.

The head of the Sudanese special court, Mahmoud Mohamed Saeed Abkam, said two soldiers had arrested civilians in North Darfur state and accused them of belonging to the local rebel movement. They then tortured the civilians and beat one of them to death.

"They were both sentenced to death yesterday," Abkam told Reuters by telephone from North Darfur state, adding the soldiers had 15 days to appeal their conviction. The victim was beaten on his head and stomach and later died of his injuries in hospital, Abkam added.

Non-Arab rebels took up arms in early 2003 accusing the central government of monopolising power and wealth.

The United Nations says Khartoum then armed mostly Arab militias who forced more than 2 million people from their homes in a widespread campaign of rape, killing and looting.
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