Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Juba, Sudan: Arabs flee southern town after riots on Garang's death - 18 killed

Wed Aug 3 Associated Press report says 18 killed in Juba. This excerpt from another report explains what is happening in Juba, a town in South Sudan that is key in the north-south peace agreement:

Heavy police and army patrols circulated in the otherwise empty dirt roads of Juba on Wednesday. Shops and an outdoor market were burned to the ground, according to an Associated Press reporter at the scene.

In Juba, 1,200 kilometers south of the capital, angry southerners attacked Arab-owned shops and homes Monday and Tuesday, chasing northerners through the streets and killing northerners, witnesses said.

Juba, a main front in the long civil war, is a garrison town for the northern Sudanese military. But it appeared the military and police held back from stopping rioters for fear of inflaming tensions with southerners in the town.

Juba is the biggest town in the south with a population of some 350,000, most of them southerners - who are ethnic Africans, mainly Christians and animists. The town is surrounded by SPLM forces and is supplied from the north by air.

But the Arab Muslim minority holds most of the main businesses. Many of them were now fleeing. At Juba's airport, dozens of Arabs - mostly men - were lined up with baggage for flights back to Khartoum. Women and families appeared to have already left.

Juba is key in the north-south peace agreement. The town is due to become the capital of the autonomous southern region. The central government is supposed to reduce its military presence and allow the SPLM's fighters to enter as a force parallel to the military.

Office of the SPLM

Photo: The office of the Sudan People's Liberation mmovement (SPLM) stand destroyed and deserted after a counter-attack by angry northerners at Haj Yousif town in Khartoum, Wed, Aug 3, 2005. following the death of SPLM leader and vice president John Garang who was killed in a weekend helicopter crash in southern Sudan. Clashes erupted Monday in Khartoum, when angry SPLA supporters reacted to the news of Garang's death by smashing and burning vehicles and looting stores. Some blamed the government for Garang's death. (AP Photo/Abd Raouf)
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Via ReliefWeb: All Medair national and international staff are currently understood to be safe and accounted for.
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I spy with my little eye a UN peacekeeper or what?

UN peacekeeper?

Photo Wed Aug 3: Arab-owned shops and businesses displaying evidence of the violence on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2005 that broke out in Sudan's southern city of Juba following the death of John Garang. African residents attacked shops and businesses owned by Arabs from the north for two days running in Juba following Monday's announcement that Garang was killed in a helicopter crash near the border with neighboring Uganda. Garang will be buried in Juba on Saturday. (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim)


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