Mon, Aug 01, 2005
Death Sparks New Violence
A former Sudanese rebel turned government leader was killed
Saturday when the aircraft in which he was a passenger went down in
the mountains between Sudan and neighboring Uganda. Another 13
people were killed in the mishap, still shrouded in confusion.
"It has now been confirmed that the plane crashed after it hit a
mountain range in southern Sudan because of poor visibility and
this resulted in the death of Dr. John Garang DeMabior, six of his
colleagues and seven other crew members of the Ugandan presidential
plane," according to a statement released by the office of Sudanese
President Omar el-Bashir. The statement was quoted by Reuters.
There were conflicting reports as to whether the aircraft
involved was a helicopter or a fixed-wing aircraft. The aircraft,
in any case, was said to be part of the personal fleet belonging to
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
Garang had been Sudan's vice president for less than three
weeks, after running a rebel operation in the southern part of the
country for 22 years. His appointment to the job was part of a
peace effort aimed at bringing the Muslim north of the country back
together with the Christian and animist south.
There were reports that the aircraft attempted a landing in the
New Kush region of Sudan, but was unable to do so because of bad
weather. Meteorological reports indicate there were indeed storms
in the area at the time.
In the wake of the mishap, there are reports of street riots in
"The (Sudanese) president has appealed to the people to be calm,
expressing that although the loss is great but the peace process
will continue because peace has now become the property of the
Sudanese people and peace-loving people around the world," the
Sudanese statement said, according to Reuters.
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