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Garang’s plane

7/31/2005 9:16pm

KHARTOUM, July 31 (AFP) — The plane carrying Sudanese First Vice President John Garang has landed safe and sound at a military base in southern Sudan, state television reported Sunday, contradicting reports it had gone missing.

State television had earlier reported that air traffic controllers in Khartoum had lost contact with the former southern rebel leader’s plane on its way from Uganda.

Officials in Kampala and members of Garang’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) had also said that Garang’s plane had gone missing, between Uganda and southern Sudan.

An SPLM/A source in Kampala told AFP that two Ugandan military helicopters had been sent to search for the missing aircraft shortly after contact was lost with it late Saturday.

"Yesterday evening the Ugandan government sent two military helicopters to search for them but they came back without any success," the source said.

Garang was in Kampala to meet with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who he saw on Friday.

Garang was sworn in as vice president on July 9 according to the terms of a peace deal signed in January that ended 21 years of civil war between the south and Khartoum.

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