African Union Peace and Security Council reviews situation in Mauritania

4 AUGUST 2005, ADDIS ABEBA, ETHIOPIA - The Peace and Security Council, held in Addis Ababa, on 4 August 2005, reviewed the situation in the Sudan, in light of the tragic death, on 31 July 2005, of Dr. John Garang de Mabior, Chairman of the SPLM/A and First Vice-President of the Republic of the Sudan, in an air accident on his way back to Sudan after a successful mission to Uganda in furtherance of his heroic quest for peace not only within the Sudan, but also with the Sudan's neighbors.

Council extended its heartfelt condolences and expressed solidarity to President Omar Hassan Ahmed Al Bashir and the Government of the Sudan, Commander Salva Kiir and the Regional Government of Southern Sudan, as well as the entire people of the Sudan. Council especially prayed that Dr. Garang's wife and the other members of his family bear their great personal loss with courage and fortitude.

Council noted that Dr. Garang's death, barely three weeks after his historic inauguration as the First Vice- President of the Republic of the Sudan, has come at a critical time in the efforts to fundamentally reconstruct the political, social and economic landscape of the Sudan through the full and faithful implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed in Nairobi, on 9 January 2005.

Council paid tribute to Dr. Garang for his courage and commitment to the cause of peace, equality, honor, dignity, and justice for all the Sudanese people, and for the bold steps he took to reach out for reconciliation and cooperation with his erstwhile adversaries in the broad political spectrum across Sudan.

Council welcomed the appointment of Commander Salva Kiir as Chairman of the SPLM and President of the Regional Government of Southern Sudan. Council further welcomed his renewed commitment to the full implementation of the CPA and, to this end, further reiterated the AU's commitment to assist all Sudanese to fully implement the CPA.

Council urged all Sudanese Parties concerned to vigorously pursue their efforts aimed at bringing about lasting peace and reconciliation through the effective implementation of the CPA, which will, no doubt, facilitate the settlement of the other conflicts facing the country, in particular in the Darfur region of the Sudan.

In this respect, Council expressed deep concern at the disturbances in Khartoum and its environs as well as in Southern Sudan, following the announcement of the death of Dr. John Garang. Council appealed to the Sudanese people and parties not to allow the hard-won progress in the search for peace and reconciliation in their own country to be reversed and urged them to remain united in order to meet the many challenges facing their country. Council assured the Sudanese people and leaders of the full solidarity of the African people.

Council reiterated AU's determination to continue to support the efforts of the Sudanese parties in their quest for peace, justice and reconciliation. In this respect, Council appealed to the donor community to fulfill the pledges made during the Oslo Conference.

Council further urged the international community, including the AU Member States, to redouble their efforts in support of the post-conflict reconstruction of the Sudan.