KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - The 18th of July brings to mind sad memories marking the 22nd anniversary of the massacre of nearly 200 kids who were forcefully conscripted only to be killed in cold blooded manner, which observers and human rights groups have described as the most heinous of crimes committed by the ousted regime against a collective group of teenagers in the country.
The martyrs were the conscripts at the Alailafoon Training Camp, 40 KM Southeast of Khartoum.
They were among thousands of youngsters forced to do compulsory military service immediately after they had finished their secondary school examination.
Some of the conscripts were kids doing marginal work around the City and were collected from the streets to the said cadet camps.
Students finishing their secondary school education were to undergo the training or else they will not be allowed to receive their secondary school graduation certificates.
After they finish their training, the conscripts were sent to the war fronts against the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) of John Garang. The conditions in those training camps were reported to be ones of oppression and humiliation.
Alailafoon's Conscripts petitioned from the Camp authorities to give them a three-day leave to spend the Holy Korban Bairam with their families as do all the country’s citizens.
But the Camp command rejected their request, arguing this was against the military discipline. To realize their desire of spending the holiday with their families, the conscripts planned to escape from the Camp.
The moment they started to dislodge the Camp’s barbed wire, a hail of bullets descended on them, killing tens of them. Those who remained alive had no way other than to swim their way across nearby Blue Nile River, or take the locals’ boats anchored on the shore. Tens of them who had no swimming experience drowned to their death.
After the downfall of the regime, the dossier of this calamity was opened within a wide legal investigation to unveil the crime perpetrators and bring them to book for premeditated murder and crimes against humanity.
In the process, the legal authorities in 2020 exhumed a mass grave in which several of the massacre victims were buried.
In February, the Attorney General asked for ten of the accused in this crime to surrender to the authorities for clues they were in complicity in the killings.
The list includes the now Assistant Secretary General of the Arab League Kamal Hassan Ali who was the Camp commander at the time and who is now wanted by the Interpol in this crime.
Last week the Attorney General announced that Bashir himself will stand trial in this case.
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