Sudanese police have detained hundreds of people suspected of looting from the Arab minority during days of deadly clashes in the Nile River port town of Juba following the death of popular southern leader John Garang.
The Sudanese Red Crescent reported that 130 people were killed in three cities - Khartoum, the capital, and Juba and Malakal in the south - and more than 400 injured in three days of rioting, which also destroyed vehicles and shops and homes.
Arab northerners continued to flee this southern town in fear of attacks by ethnic African southerners who blamed the government in the north for Garang’s death in Saturday’s helicopter crash southern Sudan — three weeks after he was sworn in as the country’s first vice president and president of the autonomous government of southern Sudan.
Garang’s former rebel movement, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, appealed for calm between the two ethnic groups in Africa’s largest country, reports the AP
Many of Khartoum's commercial districts were in ruins, with shops burnt and looted and cars wrecked following the clashes.
President Omar Hassan al-Bashir called on state television for calm on Wednesday on the third day of rioting in the capital, the worst in many years. More than 300 people were wounded in Khartoum alone.
Garang led the former southern rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) in a bitter struggle with the Islamist Khartoum-based government for more than two decades before signing a peace deal in January to end Africa's longest civil war.
He returned to Khartoum to be sworn in as first vice president on July 9, and was working on forming a coalition government.
The peace deal involved wealth and power sharing, democratic elections within three years and a southern referendum on secession from the north within six years, informs Reuters.