Sudan’s public prosecutor announced Monday the discovery of a mass grave containing conscripts allegedly killed after trying to flee a military camp in 1998 under ousted president Omar al-Bashir’s regime.
The grim discovery came as part of investigations into misdeeds committed under al-Bashir, who ruled the country with an iron fist before the army deposed him amid huge street protests in April 2019.
An investigating committee “found the mass grave in the past four days after hearing witness accounts,” about killings at Ailafoon military camp, public prosecutor Tagelsir al-Hebr told reporters in Khartoum.
Some of those suspected of involvement in the incident have fled the country, said Hebr, who did not disclose how many bodies were found.
“The grave was exhumed and now the committee will continue to work with forensic authorities and examine the evidence,” said Wael Ali Saeed, a member of the investigation committee.
Ailafoon military camp, located southeast of the capital Khartoum, was used for training new conscripts under Bashir’s rule.
In 1998, a group of conscripts died as they attempted to escape the base for the Muslim Eid al-Adha holidays.
The Sudanese government said at the time that around 55 young conscripts who fled the base drowned when their overloaded boat capsized in the Blue Nile.
Opposition groups accused the regime of deliberately killing the conscripts and reported a death toll of more than 100.