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Sudan Rebel Leader Killed

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    NOTE: Garang s murderous attacks on Sudanese Muslims has been funded and armed for years by American fundamentalist Christian groups. Garang Killed in Copter
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 4, 2005
      NOTE: Garang's murderous attacks on Sudanese Muslims has been funded
      and armed for years by American fundamentalist Christian groups.

      Garang Killed in Copter Crash, Riots in Khartoum

      Garang, 60, became vice president only three weeks ago after a
      landmark peace deal. (Reuters)

      KHARTOUM, August 1, 2005 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) –
      Confirming the death of First Vice President and former southern rebel
      leader John Garang in a helicopter crash, both the Sudanese government
      and the rebels reaffirmed commitment to the peace process that ended
      one of Africa's longest civil wars.

      "The presidency has followed the reports about the disappearance of
      the aircraft of Sudanese Vice-President John Garang and it is
      confirmed beyond doubt that it crashed in the Amatonj mountains," said
      a statement from Sudanese President Omar Al-Beshir, reported Agence
      France-Presse (AFP).

      "It resulted in the death of John Garang and six people accompanying
      him as well as seven members of the crew of the Ugandan presidential
      aircraft," added the statement, which was read on state television.

      The Amatonj mountains are in the Eastern Equatorial province of Sudan
      near the border with Uganda.

      An Ugandan official later said in Kampala that the wreckage of the
      crashed Ugandan helicopter and the bodies of Garang and the 13 other
      people on board had been located in a remote area of southern Sudan.

      Garang, 60, became vice president only three weeks ago following the
      January peace deal that ended 21 years of conflict between north and
      south Sudan, then Africa's longest-running civil war.

      He returned to Khartoum in early July for the first time since the
      1983 launch of the civil war, also took the oath as head of a new
      autonomous administration for south Sudan.

      His swearing-in followed the promulgation of a new power-sharing
      constitution provided for under the peace agreement.

      The tall, balding, US-educated economist-turned-guerrilla once derided
      in the West as a Soviet stooge, had finally won respectability as
      southern leader.

      The completion of the process brought full circle Garang's
      transformation from rebel leader to statesman.

      Bad Weather

      Two Ugandan officials said earlier the crash occurred Saturday, July
      30, after Garang and his entourage left Ugandan President Yoweri
      Museveni's ranch in western Uganda heading for his base, known as New
      Site, in southern Sudan aboard a presidential MI-72 helicopter but
      were unable to land there due to poor weather.

      "This was a presidential helicopter and it had enough fuel, the cause
      was simply bad weather," an Ugandan official told AFP.

      A statement from Museveni's office said the chopper had last been
      heard by villagers near the town of Pirre near the Kenyan border.

      Garang had been in Uganda to meet with Museveni and US and EU diplomats.

      In the Kenyan capital, officials said the SPLM/A had confirmed
      Garang's death in the crash to diplomats.

      Peace Goes On

      "We guarantee that the peace process will continue progressing in the
      same direction," Beshir said.

      The SPLM/A, meanwhile, said the death of its leader would not affect
      its commitment to a landmark January peace deal with Khartoum.

      In a statement read to reporters at SPLM/A headquarters in the Kenyan
      capital following confirmation of Garang's death, the group urged all
      Sudanese to remain calm and said its leaders would be meeting in an
      emergency session to plot strategy.

      "I take this opportunity to assure the southern Sudanese in particular
      and the Sudanese people in general that we in the SPLM/A leadership
      will continue the vision and the objective of the movement that Dr
      John Garang has articulated and hoped to implement," said the group's
      deputy commander Salva Kiiri.

      "We also want to assure everyone that the leadership and cadres of the
      SPLM/A will remain united and strive to faithfully implement the
      comprehensive peace agreement," he said.

      "I call on all members of the SPLM/A and the entire Sudanese nation to
      remain calm and vigilant," Kiiri said.

      "In this regard, I have ordered the former members of the SPLM/A
      leadership council to assemble at New Site, Kapoeta County for an
      emergency meeting," he said.

      "I am now on my way to New Site to join the rest of the leadership and
      the family of Dr Garang."

      Al-Beshir, on his part, stressed the same message, expressing
      determination to pursue the peace process despite the death of the
      country's first vice president and southern leader.

      "We guarantee that the peace process will continue progressing in the
      same direction," Beshir said in an official statement announcing
      Garang's death.

      "His passing will only reinforce our determination to pursue the peace
      process he and his comrades had started with the Sudan People's
      Liberation Movement," said the statement read on public television.

      "By announcing this terrible event, the president of the republic
      extends his condolences to the entire Sudanese people and the world
      for the death of a man who believed in peace and worked towards it
      with sincerity, determination."


      In another development, riots broke out in the streets of the Sudanese
      capital following the official announcement of Garang's death.

      Thousands took to the streets of Khartoum and its outskirts, some
      wielding knives and guns.

      Several people were lying on the ground, some possibly dead, according
      to an AFP correspondent.

      "Very serious incidents are taking place right now in Khartoum with
      bursts of Kalashnikov fire and burning cars," a European diplomat
      based in Khartoum told AFP.

      He said roadblocks had been set up throughout the city and that access
      to the airport had been blocked since morning.

      Bridges across the two branches of the Nile which meet in Khartoum
      were all closed, and schools and public buildings closed.

      The diplomat said Western embassies were preparing to appeal to
      nationals to remain in their homes.

      Doha-based Aljazeera all-news channel aired images of bloody riots,
      with cars and buildings in flames and scenes of chaos.



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