Sudan Finds Mass Grave of Conscripts Killed During Bashir's Rule

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Members of a forensic team work in a cemetery where a mass grave of conscripts killed in 1998, in the Sahafa neighbourhood, south of the Sudanese capital Khartoum, June 13, 2020.
Members of a forensic team work in a cemetery where a mass grave of conscripts killed in 1998, in the Sahafa neighbourhood, south of the Sudanese capital Khartoum, June 13, 2020.Credit: AFP

Sudan's public prosecutor on Monday announced the discovery of a mass grave east of Khartoum suspected to contain the remains of students killed in 1998 who tried escaping military service from a training camp.

An investigation has been launched, the prosecutor said, adding that some of the suspected killers belonging to the ousted administration of Omar al-Bashir had fled.

A source in the investigators' team told Reuters dozens of bodies had been found at the site east of the capital.

The prosecutor said the conscripts were shot while fleeing the El Eifalun camp fearing they would be sent to southern Sudan where Bashir's Islamist regime was fighting a civil war with rebels.

Poorly trained and equipped conscripts were sent into the bush fighting against the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA).

The students were also angry that they had been denied time to spend with their families during an Islamic holiday, according to the prosecutor.

No more details were immediately available.

Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) soldiers raise their rifles at a containment site outside of Juba, April 14, 2016.Credit: AFP PHOTO/Charles Atiki Lomodong

Commanders and instructors of conscripts were often members of Bashir's ruling party and allied Islamists which often framed the conflict against the SPLA, from the mainly Christian south, as holy war.

The Sudan People's Liberation Movement, the political wing of the SPLA, won independence for the south in 2011 following a peace deal with Bashir's regime in 2005.

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