Death Toll Reaches 84

In Clashes in Khartoum

KHARTOUM, Sudan -- Northern and southern Sudanese leaders called for calm on Wednesday during a third day of clashes in the capital that have killed at least 84 people since the death of John Garang, the former rebel leader in the south.

Violence in Khartoum erupted Monday when angry southerners took to the streets after the announcement of Garang's death in a helicopter crash. Some northerners responded by forming vigilante groups.

Garang, who had recently become vice president under a peace deal, led African rebels from the mostly Christian and animist south during a two-decade fight for independence from the government in the mainly Muslim Arab north.

Meanwhile in Juba, the south's largest city, Arabs fled after ethnic Africans went on a two-day rampage, burning Arab shops and homes. At least 18 people were killed, witnesses said.

Both the government and Garang's movement have said the helicopter crash was an accident.


* PARAMARIBO, Suriname -- President Ronald Venetiaan was reelected by the full legislature to a third term after facing an early challenge from the former military leader of the onetime Dutch colony.

Parliamentary, district and council representatives voted during a special assembly to reelect Venetiaan over Rabindre Parmessar, who had been backed by the National Democratic Party of Desi Bouterse, a former army leader.

Venetiaan, 69, was first elected in 1991 and reelected in 2000.

* PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Investigators appointed by Haiti's interim government accused the ousted president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, of misusing up to $50 million in public funds, much of it believed to have been embezzled.

The head of the Administrative Inquiry Commission, Paul Denis, said a good deal of the money ended up in the personal bank accounts of close collaborators of Aristide, who fled Haiti in February 2004 after an armed revolt and U.S. and French pressure. Aristide's party dismissed the allegations.


* KABUL, Afghanistan -- About 2,000 Afghan security troops rushed to the eastern province of Nurestan after dozens of suspected Taliban rebels wearing army uniforms killed eight police officers and soldiers in an attack on a region that has been largely peaceful in recent months. As the reinforcements were on their way, a roadside bomb exploded, killing one soldier and wounding five, a Defense Ministry spokesman said.


* VATICAN CITY -- In another sign of warming relations with Beijing, Pope Benedict XVI gave a special welcome to priests from China who attended his general audience.

-- From News Services