The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
The Secretary-General is deeply saddened by the tragic death of Dr. John Garang de Mabior, First Vice-President of the Sudan, President of Southern Sudan and Chairman of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). The Secretary-General offers his sincere condolences to the family of Dr. Garang and to the people of the Sudan, who have lost a great son.
Dr. Garang, who led the SPLM/A for more than 20 years, was a symbol of hope for millions of Sudanese who aspired to a better future. He was one of the main architects of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the historic accord which was signed by the Government of the Sudan and the SPLM/A on 9 January 2005, ending the civil war.
The Secretary-General calls on all concerned to honour Dr. Garang's memory by reaffirming their commitment to continue to build on what has been achieved in the peace process in the Sudan.
During this time of mourning, the Secretary-General has received personal assurances from President Omar Hassan al-Bashir that the Government remains committed to implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. He is also reassured to hear that the SPLM leadership is likewise committed to the CPA and the peace process in the Sudan.
The death of Dr. Garang is a terrible loss for the Sudan. As the country recovers from this loss, close collaboration between the signatories to the CPA will continue to be critical. The United Nations and the United Nations Mission in the Sudan stand ready to assist and support the Sudanese in this process as they address the challenges ahead and move irrevocably towards a lasting peace.
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