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World Digest: Aug. 5, 2021

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6 paramilitary officers sentenced to death

A Sudanese court said Thursday that it had sentenced to death six officers in the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces for the 2019 killing of six students who were protesting economic hardship as civilians negotiated a power-sharing arrangement with the military.

The prosecution of personnel from the RSF — commanded by the deputy head of Sudan’s transitional governing body — in these killings and others that have been alleged is seen as a test of the government’s commitment to democratization after decades of autocratic rule.

The civilian court in Obeid, where the killings occurred, said the defendants broke RSF law and behaved individually, adding that “their actions have no relation to the forces they were part of.”

The teenage victims were part of a student protest following the June 3, 2019, killing of dozens of protesters demanding a faster transition to civilian, democratic government after an uprising that toppled President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. Members of the RSF were widely blamed for the post-uprising bloodshed.

— Reuters

High winds stir up fires north of Athens

High winds rekindled wildfires north of Athens on Thursday as emergency crews battled for a third day to control blazes across Greece in searing, tinder-dry conditions.

A wall of dark smoke rose high above the Greek capital, and authorities warned of more blazes Friday as temperatures hovered around 107 degrees.

“If there are even a few people who have reservations about whether climate change is real, I call on them to come here and see,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said from Ilia, where the flames had threatened Ancient Olympia.

On Thursday, authorities ordered the evacuation of the suburbs of Kokkinovrahos, Ippokrateios Politeia, Afidnes and Kryoneri, as well as migrants from the nearby Malakasa reception center.

— Reuters

Rebels kill 30 in Burkina Faso: At least 30 people, including members of the military, were killed by Islamist rebels in northern Burkina Faso, the government said. Eleven civilians, 15 soldiers and four volunteer defense fighters were killed Wednesday in several villages outside the town of Markoye in Oudalan province, near the border with Niger, an assistant to the minister of defense said in a statement. The civilians were killed at midday, and the military and volunteers were ambushed four hours later after being detached to secure the area, the government said. At least 10 rebels were killed and the area has been secured by the army, officials said.

Second woman is elected an Anglican bishop in Kenya: A long-serving female priest has been elected an Anglican bishop in Kenya, making her the second woman to hold that rank in the country. The Rev. Rose Okeno, 52, will lead Butere, a rural western diocese where a majority of the faithful are small-scale farmers and traders. Okeno was favored by more than three-quarters of the electoral college delegates, beating two male contenders. Her consecration as bishop is planned for September. Kenya's first appointment of a female bishop came in January.

Hundreds protest killings in South Africa: Supporters of South Africa's leftist opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters, demonstrated against the killings of 36 people in Phoenix, a suburb of Durban, during the recent violent riots in KwaZulu-Natal province. Over 1,000 people marched through Phoenix to hand police a statement demanding justice for the families of those killed; police say 22 people have been arrested in the deaths. The riots in July, sparked by the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma, triggered looting across KwaZulu-Natal and spread to Gauteng, South Africa's most populous province.

— From news services