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AU chief expresses shock over death of Garang

8/1/2005 11:57pm

ADDIS ABABA, Aug 1, 2005 (Xinhua) — African Union Commission Chairman Alpha Oumar Konare on Monday expressed condolences over the death of Sudan’s First Vice President and former rebel leader John Garang.

Alpha Oumar KonareIn a statement issued from the AU headquarters, Konare said he learned the death of Garang with great shock.

He expressed deep sorrow upon the untimely death of Garang in air accident on his way back to Sudan from Uganda.

Garang, head of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army ( SPLM/A) for more than two decades, died in a helicopter crash in southern Sudan on Saturday.

He was sworn in as first vice president only on July 9 and had played a key role in reaching the peace deal earlier this year, ending 21 years of civil war that killed more than two million people.

Konare said Garang pursued a cause of peace, equality, honor, dignity, and justice for all the Sudanese people in general and as a symbol of the struggle of the people of the southern Sudan in particular.

Garang passed away three weeks after his historic inauguration as Sudan’s first vice president, the statement said, adding that Garang had taken remarkably bold decisions to restructure SPLM/A in such a short period of time.

Konare urged the Sudanese government and the international community to recommit themselves to the vision of the late Garang.

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