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Garang due in Khartoum to take up post of vice president

5/17/2005 9:35am

KHARTOUM, May 17 (AFP) -- The leader of a former southern Sudanese rebel group, John Garang, is due in Khartoum in late June or early July to be sworn in as vice president of a national unity government, his spokesman said Tuesday.
Garang, who has not set foot in Sudan's capital in more than two decades, will also head an autonomous government in the south of the country until a self-determination referendum is held in six years.

"Dr John Garang will arrive in Khartoum in late June or early July to take the oath of office as first vice president," Yassir Arman of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) told AFP.

Under a landmark January peace deal that ended 21 years of conflict between Khartoum and southern rebels, a national unity government is to be formed in July to mark the beginning of a six-year transitional period.

The war pitted the mainly Christian and animist south against the Muslim-dominated central government based in the north, killing an estimated 1.5 million people with four million others displaced.

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