August 2, 2005


Troops on patrol as Sudan mourns (BBC, 8/02/05)

Heavily-armed troops are patrolling the streets of Sudan's capital, Khartoum, to stop further violence after 36 people died in riots on Monday.

They broke out after vice-president and former rebel leader John Garang died in a helicopter crash over the weekend.

His funeral will be held in the main southern town of Juba on Saturday.

His death and the ensuing clashes have prompted US President George W Bush to dispatch envoys to Sudan to ensure the country's peace process continues. [...]

Garang's former rebel group, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), has chosen deputy leader Salva Kiir as his successor, who will become the next vice-president of Sudan and president of the south.

On Monday, Mr Bush, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and others earlier joined Mr Kiir in urging the Sudanese people to remain calm and continue to implement the peace agreement. [...]

Garang's widow, Rebecca, added a plea for calm and said she accepted her husband's death.

"This was his day and I accept that God has come to collect him. It is just my husband who has died. His vision is still alive," she told Reuters news agency.

In choosing Mr Kiir, the SPLM has sent a clear signal that the groups remains committed to Garang's policy of integration with the north, our correspondent says.

Indispensable men are rare, but, unfortunately, Mr. Garang may have been one.

A death bodes ill for Sudan (Marc Lacey, 8/01/05, The New York Times)

A Uganda military helicopter that had been ferrying Garang from a meeting with President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda to this rebel command center crashed in the hilly terrain south of here on Saturday night. Six of Garang's security detail and a crew of seven also perished. The authorities blamed bad weather for the crash and ruled out foul play.

Garang's wife, Rebecca, took to the radio to attempt to calm her countrymen. One minute she was sobbing with close relatives at the rebel command center here, the next she was speaking stoically.

"It is the body who has gone," she said. "His spirit, his vision, his program - we're going to implement them."

Garang had been leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Army for 21 years, ruling with a quick wit and ferocious temper and hoping to see the long-suffering people of southern Sudan experience modern schools and hospitals and paved roads. [...]

The Bush administration played an important behind-the-scenes role in shepherding the peace process forward in recent years, leaning on both government officials and Garang to compromise.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 2, 2005 8:27 AM

You mean never fly in government planes when you're a rebel leader. Couldn't Bush have provided him air transport?

Posted by: pj at August 2, 2005 10:58 AM

When Orrin crowed here about the 'settlement,' my first thought was, Garang is a dead man.

I went as far as typing it in this window, too, then decided to let it pass, since I was already on record as doubting the sincerity of the Khartoum murderers.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at August 4, 2005 3:38 PM

The Khartoum government doesn't matter.

Posted by: OJ at August 4, 2005 6:49 PM