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Amnesty Says Government Troops Massacred 34 Civilians

October 20, 1989

LONDON (AP) _ Amnesty International today accused Sudanese government troops of killing 34 civilians in the southern town of Wau in late July, apparently to avenge the death of a soldier whose truck hit a mine.

The international human rights organization said an unspecified number of other civilians were seriously injured in the same incident, in which soldiers dumped the victims’ bodies in a well in the northwest section of the town.

It said most of the victims were refugees of the Dinka and Luo ethnic groups who had been living in Wau.

They were arrested shortly before being killed, Amnesty International said.

The group added it had collected the names of the dead and also of 13 of the injured.

The Sudan government has not commented on the alleged massacre, but the civilian government, before its ouster in a coup June 30, denied similar allegations against the army.

″Amnesty International is particularly concerned because these killings do not appear to be isolated cases,″ a statement said. ″Its information reveals a persistent pattern of serious human rights violations in the context of the civil war in the south.″

It said many civilians and captured members of the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army had been killed by the army and government-allied troops.

Amnesty International urged the Sudanese government to investigate the alleged massacre. It also issued appeals on behalf of former Prime Minister Sadek el-Mahdi, ousted in the coup, and his wife, Sara al-Fadil Mahmoud.

It said el-Mahdi was abused and threatened for refusing to back the new military government, and subjected to a mock execution.

The government last week denied a report that el-Mahdi was being tortured. A statement said his family has regular visits and that anybody else could visit him for evidence he had not been tortured. The statement did not mention his wife.

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