Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Sudan's reprisal attacks worsen - 800 wounded - 71 killed

Wed Aug 3 report by the BBC World Africa says riots continue in Khartoum, despite a curfew, with Arab and southern Sudanese gangs launching a series of retaliatory attacks.

The report says more than 800 people have been wounded and 71 killed in the violence which erupted after ex-rebel southern leader John Garang died in a helicopter crash on Saturday. Most casualties are southern Sudanese and the large military presence is struggling to contain the violence.
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Salva Kiir meets U.S. envoys, seeks Darfur peace

Wed Aug 3 report from Reuters in New Site, Sudan confirms Salava Kiir, the new leader of southern Sudan, met with top U.S. and South African envoys today (Wed) as part of diplomatic moves to maintain the fragile peace accord in Africa's largest country.
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U.S. envoys by Garang's coffin

US envoys by Garang's coffin

Photo Aug 3: U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Connie Newman (L) and the U.S. special envoy to Sudan Roger Winter (R) pay their respects in front of the coffin of John Garang in New Site village in southern Sudan August 3, 2005. The new leader of Sudan People's Liberation Movement, Salva Kiir met with top U.S. and South African envoys on Wednesday as part of a diplomatic push to maintain the fragile peace accord in Africa's largest country. REUTERS/Stringer
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People flee central Khartoum, violence reported

Wed Aug 3 report by Reuters says people fled central Khartoum in cars today while troops and riot police headed towards the city centre, where residents reported fresh violence, witnesses and journalists said.

The reported violence followed rumours that a southern Sudanese militia leader had been killed. But the militia itself, the South Sudanese Defence Forces, and a Foreign Ministry official denied the rumours.

Sudanese forces in Khartoum

Wed Aug 3 - A local resident walks by soldiers manning a machine gun on a pick-up in the street of Khartoum, after riots continued Tuesday to rock the Khartoum neighbourhood where Sudanese First Vice President John Garang used to live. (AFP/Khaled Desouki)

Soldiers on foot in Khartoum

Wed Aug 3 - Sudanese soldiers on foot and in a pick-up are on patrol in the street of Khartoum, after the riots. (AFP/Khaled Deosouki)

Wed Aug 3 AFP report says from his southern Sudanese base of New Site, where mourners were paying their last respects to Garang, the late leader's successor Salva Kiir urged all parties to refrain from resorting to violence.

The violence is "regrettable and we have been openly talking to the media, the Sudanese media especially, trying to calm down the people in Khartoum both southerners and northerners," Kiir said.

"We want to stop it, that's why we are appealing to all the Sudanese people to refrain from any hostility."

[It is interesting to note the riots appear to be taking place in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. John Garang only set foot there for the first time in something like 20 years, just a few weeks or so ago. So, AFP is stretching it a bit to refer to the area where the riots have taken place as his old neighbourhood.

Also, no photos have yet emerged of any UN peacekeepers on the scene anywhere. There are masses of them in South Sudan but, as yet, none have been photographed there either. Rebels do not wear uniforms. Who knows if these riots are being instigated by rebels connected with central or eastern Sudan groups. Any old excuse for a fight. Someone should employ these guys to do a hard day's work for a good day's pay to put food on the table. Too many have too much time on their hands to fight and kill and cause trouble. Who is supporting them? How are they buying arms, ammunition, petrol and other supplies - not to mention mobile phone costs - to keep going for so many months and years?]
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Security council calls for calm in Sudan in the wake of Garang's death

On the riots continuing in Khartoum, Captain Marlow blogs this:
As usual, a very strong statement from the UN will ensure peace:

On Tuesday, the United Nations Security Council urged calm.
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Sudan announces probe into Garang's death

Wed Aug 3 AFP report says Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir announced Wednesday the launch of a committee to probe the death of John Garang.

Beshir spoke of "the formation of a national commission with the cooperation of the SPLM to investigate and establish the facts about the helicopter crash that cost John Garang his life," in a speech broadcast on public television.

Garang, leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), was killed in helicopter crash on Saturday that many of his supporters say was not an accident.

Garang and al-Beshir

Photo: Former sworn enemies First Vice President John Garang (L) and Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir, in Khartoum, 17 July 2005. (AFP)

[It's hard to imagine what they could be laughing about on camera. Their war against each other cost 2 million Sudanese lives and untold misery. I've said this many times before here at Sudan Watch: it is within the gift of the Khartoum regime to peacably bring law, order and prosperity to Sudan or ask for help to secure law and order. It is not up to the West to tell Sudan how to live - or keep feeding it and its neighbours ad infinitum. Peace cannot be enforced externally. Even the late great Mahatma Gandhi said of Africa something along the lines that its problems can only be resolved within, by its own people.]


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