Sudan death toll hits 130

The streets of Khartoum have quietened after the frenzy of ethnically driven clashes that have raised fears for the future of the war-ravaged country.

Heavily-armed Sudanese police and soldiers have continued to patrol central Khartoum.

Smashed shop windows and burnt-out vehicles on the streets bore witness to the tensions between southerners and northerners.

Residents reported that an uneasy calm has returned even to the shantytown suburbs where the clashes between mainly Christian or animist southerners and Muslim northerners had been most intense.

However, a few men armed with clubs continue to roam the streets in the suburbs worst-hit by the violence.

“Our latest toll is 130 dead and 402 wounded, including 111 dead and 345 wounded in the capital Khartoum and 13 dead and 20 wounded in Juba and six dead and 37 wounded in Malakal,” said Larena Brander, spokeswoman for the Intertional Committee of the Red
Cross.

The international community issued urgent appeals for calm, fearing the death of the former rebel leader could plunge Africa’s largest country into fresh turmoil.

There is also concern that the violence could lead to the deal brokered in January that turned the page on 21 years of civil war between north and south being overturned.

Meanwhile throngs of south Sudanese have paid tribute to their revered former rebel leader on the journey to his final resting place.

Mr Garang will be buried in the southern regional capital of Juba on Saturday even though he never set foot in the heavily fortified garrison town which remained in government hands throughout the war.

Mr Garang’s body has been flown out of his New Site base to the remote town of Kurmuk on the first leg of its journey to Juba.

The airborne funeral procession is to pass through five towns across Mr Garang’s stronghold before his body is finally laid to rest.