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Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

What they said about Sudanese John Garang

By Mahmoud A. Suleiman

This article of a compilation of related topics comes against the backdrop of a number of issues relating to the Republic of South Sudan that was declared its inauguration at midnight on July 9th 2011 with raucous celebrations erupted as the World’s youngest nation was born and the people of South Sudan cheered the end of a decades-long struggle for Statehood from the mother Sudan; though the revelry was short-lived. Had it not for the unfortunate death of the charismatic leader Sudanese vice-president John Garang, the succession of the Southern Sudan region might not have happened. Furthermore, this article also comes against the pledges repeatedly made by the current President of the Republic of South Sudan, Silva Kiir “It won’t return us to war.

Reports from Juba, on July 9 2021 which marked the 10th Anniversary of the secession of South Sudan (Reuters) reported that – South Sudan’s two most powerful politicians gave assurances on Friday that they would not lead the country back into war as they marked its 10th birthday, and Pope Francis said he would visit if they did more to maintain a fragile peace. As we know Violence exploded in South Sudan in late 2013, two years after it seceded from Sudan, when President Salva Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, sacked vice president Riek Machar, from the rival Nuer group. Ten years on, South Sudan’s leaders say peace is way forward.

The death of John Garang
Toby Manhire
Wed 3 Aug 2005 23.59 BST

On Saturday, just three weeks after he was installed as the Sudanese vice-president, John Garang was killed in a helicopter crash. The death of the former leader of the rebel faction the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), who signed a peace deal in January to end a 22-year-old conflict, left the country on a knife-edge, observers agreed.

“For two decades, Mr Garang personified Sudan’s bloody civil war,” said Abraham McLaughlin in the US-based Christian Science Monitor. “For the past seven months, he personified peace. His death will sharply test which legacy will prevail.”

With Mr Garang’s death sparking riots, there were calls for calm. “The Sudanese people must rally efforts to achieve peace and security,” urged Egypt’s Al-Gomhuria. The Ugandan daily New Vision asked for caution on a wider scale. “All Sudanese, Africans and the world community should ensure that his death does not scuttle peace,” it said. The Kenyan Standard added: “Deviating from the path of peace would be to betray the ideals and vision Mr Garang fought for.”

Commentators wasted little time before considering who might take over as leader of the SPLA and its political arm, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement. The London-based pan-Arab Al-Quds al-Arabi judged that “the biggest mistake Mr Garang made was not to leave behind a strong deputy”. It was certainly no easy task, added the Pan-African News Agency, to find someone with the “credibility, stature and unifying appeal to step into the shoes of [the] legendary guerrilla leader”.

The New York Times correctly predicted Salva Kiir, Mr Garang’s deputy, as the most likely successor. “He lacks Mr Garang’s charisma but it’s time for the Sudanese – and … for Africans as a whole – to stop pinning their hopes on magnetic strongmen, and instead empower the democratic institutions the continent desperately needs.”

Not everyone had thought Mr Garang to still be the right man for the job, noted the Kenyan Nation. “There are many who held firmly that while Mr Garang won the war, he didn’t have it in him to be the peace leader, where a more consultative style was required,” it said. “All that and more might be true. But when all is said and done, [he] will still be judged kindly by history.”

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said to Sudan Honoring Garang’s Legacy by Keeping the Peace
https://www.voanews.com/archive/annan-sudan-honor-garangs-legacy-keeping-peace
October 30, 2009 07:12 PM

United Nations officials are closely monitoring the situation in Khartoum, where violence has broken out following the death of Vice President John Garang, the long-time leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement. As head of the SPLM, Mr. Garang played a pivotal role in the peace process that ended Sudan’s civil war in January after more than two decades of strife. But, observers are now concerned that his death in a helicopter crash will jeopardize the delicate peace in Sudan.

The United Nations announced Mr Garang’s death Monday, less than one month after he was sworn in as Sudan’s first vice president. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who attended the July 9 swearing-in ceremony, called Mr. Garang charismatic and larger than life.

“At that time it was such a moment of hope. Here is [a] man who had lived and fought for peace and one united Sudan,” he said. “Just as he was on the verge of achieving what he has lived for he is taken away from us. But what is important is that the Sudanese continue with the process of reconciliation and the process of peace.”

Animosities between the Arab-dominated north of Sudan and the south began in 1983, after Khartoum’s adoption of Islamic law. A peace accord was signed in January, and a new constitution was adopted last month, but the issue of Darfur remains unresolved.

Mr Annan said all indications are that the helicopter crash was an accident. He called on the Sudanese people to remain calm and honour John Garang’s legacy by continuing the peace process.

The secretary-general said he has spoken to Sudanese President Omar Hassan al Bashir, who assured him that the government will work with other SPLM leaders to move forward with the peace process. Mr Annan said it is essential for the SPLM to quickly pick a successor to Mr Garang.

“We have offered a very close collaboration with the government and SPLM,” he said. “In fact, we have been working with them ever since the crash. It is our plane that has taken the body to New City, and also retrieved the other bodies. So we are on the ground very actively working with them, and we have made it clear that we will give them all the support necessary, both in the political process and in our efforts to contain the humanitarian situation and settle the process in Darfur.”
Mr Annan said he assumes that the new SPLM leader will also become the head of southern Sudan and replace Mr Garang as first vice president when the new government is formed on August 9.

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After the murder of John Garang: Sudan to where?
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03.08.2005
After the Sudanese and the world breathed a sigh of relief following the agreement to end the absurd war between the “Southern Rebellion” movement and the government, the killing of the war leader and peace hero, John Garang, casts a shadow over the Sudanese political scene and puts Sudan at a crossroads.

Dr. John Garang was in power or close to it, but when it went against his people in general and his people in the south in particular, he left it and went to battle, bearing, along with the hopes of many Sudanese, arms in the face of a tyrannical authority that was singled out for wealth and power, and above all that it tried by force Imposing its culture, religious beliefs and “extreme Islamic” laws on the other, non-Muslim. He was a brave fighter, a fierce fighter, and a war leader par excellence. But when the subjective and objective circumstances came to laying down arms and sitting at the negotiating table for a united Sudan on the basis of justice and equality in rights and duties among all its religious sects, social groups and geographical regions without discrimination, he was the brave and seasoned political champion of peace who stood before the world and the good Sudanese people. Longing for peace, justice, freedom and equality to say after years of wars and calamities that “peace today is not a dream but a reality.” So, in circumstances that are still ambiguous and whose features are not yet clear, the most important historical actors in Sudanese politics have been absent from the Sudanese scene in extremely sensitive circumstances, which may make Sudan in the coming period at a crossroads and perhaps a return to the cycle of civil war in the worst case, and in The best of them is the separation of the south from the north.

Garang a Symbol of Drive for Federalism in Sudan
A Sudanese analyst says the late rebel leader John Garang was a symbol of the struggle for greater federalism in the country. Lecturer John Gai Yoh of the University of South Africa (UNISA) in Pretoria credits the leader of the Sudanese Liberation Movement with creating a campaign that included allies beyond his base in the south. Mr. Yoh notes that his vision materialized with the comprehensive peace agreement signed last January between the former SPLA rebels and the…

The U.S. Sends Envoys to Sudan in Wake of Garang Death
The U.S. President Bush Sends Two senior U.S. envoys to Sudan with the hope of keeping peace efforts there on track following the death of the Sudanese senior vice president and former southern rebel leader John Garang. The Bush administration urged all Sudanese parties to keep working to implement the country’s north-south peace accord.

In a move reflecting deep U.S. concern about the situation in Sudan following Garang’s death, the Bush administration has dispatched two senior officials there for urgent talks with the parties to the country’s north-south peace accord concluded earlier this year.

Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Constance Newman and the State Department’s new special envoy for Sudan, Roger Winter, left Washington for Sudan only hours after the death of Mr Garang in a helicopter crash was confirmed.

The U.S.-educated Mr Garang, leader of the southern rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, or SPLM, became senior vice president of Sudan’s new national unity government July 9 under terms of the peace accord ending the 22-year civil conflict.

He was a critical figure in the long-running negotiations for the comprehensive peace accord and a frequent visitor to Washington, and his death prompted an expression of deep sadness from the White House, which called him a visionary leader and true peacemaker.

White House Spokesman Scott McClellan said Garang was committed to moving forward on the peace process, and that way for Sudanese to honour him would be to continue to move forward on implementing the agreement.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who last met Mr Garang on a visit to Sudan two weeks ago, telephoned his widow, Rebecca, to express condolences and said in a written statement the United States remains firmly committed to the cause of peace in all of Sudan including the Darfur region.

Acting State Department Spokesman Thomas Casey said the Sudanese government has begun an investigation of the crash that will include participation by the SPLM. He said there has thus far been no request for American technical assistance in the inquiry, but that the United States would be prepared to provide it if asked.
It has been quoted that the people are saying: “It is still a shock. It seems like a bad dream and that when I wake up I will see him. But all I find are people weeping”. https://whatsyourgrief.com/grief-makes-you-crazy2/

Dr Mahmoud A. Suleiman is an author, columnist and a blogger. His blog is http://thussudan.wordpress.com