Sudan South Sudanese Officials has appealed to the Sudanese government in Khartoum over the sentencing of 25 countrymen to death. Asking that they should be extradited to serve their conviction in South Sudan, Presidential spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny told African press In an exclusive Interview.
As neighboring countries with a “volatile relationship”, the best way forward is for Sudan to hand over the convicts to South Sudan, Ateny said by phone in Juba today.
“The first thing is that the 25 were sentenced to death on crimes committed and what country to country do in such a situation is to compromise on the way forward,” Ateny said.
“South Sudan will want them to come and serve their sentences in South Sudan where they are near to their families,” he added.
“Being a foreigner in another country does not free you from any crime but what we are asking for Sudan to extradite them here,” Ateny said.
On his part the Sudanese Minister for Information, Extraditing the convicts is a political step that Sudan will be willing to consider, Ahmed Bilal Osman said by phone from Khartoum today.
“This might be the next step, when we sit down at a political table but as for now they have been sentenced to death as our law demands, Osman said.
“We took them with arms four or five years ago after the government forgave the rebel group they were in and actually they committed a grave crime under our law,” he added.
However, the Spokesperson In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ambassador Mawein Makol Arik, Stressed that South Sudan respect the verdict pass by Sudan but extradition is the international norms can be granted by all countries.
I don’t see the reasons why Sudan may refuse to extradited the 25 men who alleged of fighting beside Darfur in the North,” he cited.
In his reaction to the verdict the Community activist group, the community for empowerment for progress Organization, (CEPO) has also called on its government of South Sudan to respond to the sentencing of 25 South Sudanese citizens to death by a Khartoum court.
“The sentencing disturbed and stressed because the alleged 25 men are people with responsibility back home and there is no clear evidence probing their participation in the war or fights” Said Edmund Yakani, the executive Director for CEPO.
“South Sudan government has been Silence for long time. And this is not encouraging but depressing,” he added.
“Our ministry of foreign affairs or any relevant state institution should inform us the South Sudanese immediately without any delay…What level is the government involved in protecting the lives of those South Sudanese?” He questioned
Khartoum court yesterday sentenced the more than 25 southerners to hang. They were allegedly members of a Darfuri rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement-Peace Wing led by Bakhit Dabajo, but had returned to Khartoum to be absorbed into the army.
The relationship between Sudan and South Sudan has deteriorates a week after the reopening and closure of the borders between the two neighboring state with the counter accusation of rebel supports by the two Sudans.