UN offers Sudan help in investigation of Garang death

The United Nations is offering Sudan help in the investigation into the helicopter crash that killed Vice President John Garang, a UN spokesperson said on Wednesday in Nairobi.

Garang's rebel group, the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), has called for an international investigation into the cause of the crash that killed him and thirteen others on Saturday.

Many southern Sudanese do not believe the official announcement that the helicopter crash was caused by bad weather, reports Independent.

According to The New York Times, Salva Kiir Mayardit, the newly installed chairman of the Sudan People's Liberation Army who is expected to be selected as vice president of Sudan, is a fierce fighter with traditional Dinka tribal scarring on his forehead and eyes that betray little. Mr. Kiir - who takes over for John Garang, the Sudanese rebel leader, turned vice-president who died in a helicopter crash over the weekend - has fought shoulder to shoulder and occasionally face to face with Mr. Garang for two decades.

He now finds himself fighting for peace. A deal aimed at ending Africa's longest civil war, which pits Sudan's Arab Islamist government against southern rebels, was at a critical stage when Mr. Garang died.

For the second straight day, southerners rioted Tuesday in Khartoum, the capital, out of fury that the government might have had a hand in Mr. Garang's death. After 36 deaths on Monday, the scene was tense with riot police officers in the streets and a dusk-to-dawn curfew in place.

It is now up to Mr. Kiir, the consensus choice to replace Mr. Garang, to settle the violence and keep the peace agreement on track.

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