August 5, 2005
SUDAN: 'KEEPING GARANG'S LEGACY ALIVE'
** The death of the "guarantor of the peace agreement" triggers fears of lapse into civil war.
** Sudanese papers decry "criminal" acts and call on leaders to foster "reconciliation."
** African outlets encourage "restraint" to ensure the success of "Garang's vision."
** The international community is expected to "deliver" on its "promises."
'Safety valve gone'-- After SPLA leader Garang's death, writers worried his role as "guarantor of the peace agreement" cannot "be filled by anyone else." Norway's newspaper-of-record Aftenposten stressed that the accord "that put an end" to more than 20 years of war "would not have happened without him." Arab writers argued that Garang's absence "is a big problem" for the peace agreement. Egypt's leading Al-Ahram called Garang's death "a strong blow" to what one editorialist called an "infant peace." His death, said UAE's expatriate-oriented Gulf News, has "cast a huge shadow over a "political landscape" just now reaping "the first seeds of a peaceful harvest." Britain's conservative Times warned that Sudan "could soon lapse" back into "intermittent warfare," while an Italian outlet declared the "specter of civil war has returned."
'Who halts anarchy of the mob?'-- Sudanese editorialists criticized authorities for their inability to "restrain criminals" after riots broke out following Garang's death. They also stressed the distinction between "southerners" and "hooligans" who, according to independent Al-Ayaam, have "no relation" to the "sadness engulfing Sudan." Pro-government Al-Sahafa added, "If a southerner or northerner commits a crime, then he/she represents themselves only" not the "entire race." Another writer urged "religious and local leadership" to foster "concepts of coexistence and reconciliation" through "communication with the grassroots."
Maintaining the peace-- African dailies urged African-Sudanese to remain "cool and determined" in their mission to carry out "a lasting peace." Commentators held that the people of Sudan must "consolidate the gains achieved," allowing "nothing" to "disrupt the peace which is returning." Tanzania's privately owned Daily Times encouraged all parties to "exercise restraint" and "remain committed" to peace. A Nigerian analyst expressed hope that deputy SPLA leader Kiir's declaration that he is "committed to the peace agreement" would "calm all frail nerves." Kenya's independent Standard asserted that there is "no bigger honor" that Sudan can accord Garang than to "ensure" that his work will be continued.
'Cooperation'-- Papers called on members of the international community to deliver "on their pledges" to support "the new government" and "efforts to resolve Darfur." South Africa's centrist Beeld held that "everybody who has an interest in peace" should support President El-Bashir and the new interim government "in every possible way." Britain's left-of-center Guardian advised the world to "press its carrot of aid and stick in the form of sanctions" to encourage a successful peace deal. The UAE's expatriate-oriented Gulf Today called on the African Union, UN, and EU to "intervene quickly" to end clashes that "could go out of control."
Prepared by Media Reaction Branch (202) 203-7888, email@example.com
EDITORS: Stephen Wangness and Erin Carroll
EDITOR'S NOTE: Media Reaction reporting conveys the spectrum of foreign press sentiment. Posts select commentary to provide a representative picture of local editorial opinion. Some commentary is taken directly from the Internet. This report summarizes and interprets foreign editorial opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government. This analysis was based on 40 reports from 14 countries over 2 August - 4 August, 2005. Editorial excerpts are listed from the most recent date.
BRITAIN: "Killing Hope"
The left-of-center Guardian editorialized (8/3): "So far Mr. Garang's successor as SPLA leader and vice-president, Salva Kiir Mayardit, has called for January's peace deal to be upheld. The world must do all it can to encourage that engagement, by continuing to press its carrot of aid and stick in the form of sanctions. The innocent of Darfur are still waiting to be saved."
"Back To The Brink"
The conservative Times argued (8/3): "If Mr. Kiir can rally support and establish his authority--in Khartoum as well as the south--Sudan may yet weather this setback. If not, the country could soon lapse back to the intermittent warfare, starvation and misery from which it is only now emerging."
GERMANY: "Garang's Death"
Jasper von Altenbockum judged in an editorial in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (8/3): "Irrespective or not of whether it was an accident, John Garang's death comes at the right time for many schemers in the Sudanese power struggle and will now create more dangers for the 'peace process' that is fragile anyway. The Basheer regime and Garang's rebels reached an agreement in January which many people in Khartoum but also in Garang's home province hoped it would fail.... The provisional nature of this compromise peace also finds its expression in the fact that both sides have not implemented it. It will now turn out whether Khartoum accepted Garang only to be presented as a power of peace and to distract attention from the mass murder in Darfur. [But] this can be influenced from the outside."
"Without Heroes Greater Transparency"
Dominic Johnson editorialized in leftist Die Tageszeitung of Berlin (8/3): "There is reason to be pessimistic. The bloody unrest in Khartoum between North and South Sudanese is a bad omen for the preservation of Sudan as a multiethnic state. And the unity, which the SPLA rebel movement is demonstrating to the outside, is based on a state of shock rather than its real interests. But this statement indicates different interpretation of Garang's death. The rebel leader was also a military dictator who preferred to suppress internal conflicts over carrying them out and who shaped his policy through personal friendships and hostilities, arbitrary appointments and ousters instead of relying on transparent procedures and democratic co-determination.... A new beginning is now indispensable, and this offers a chance for Sudan. The new SPLA leader Salva Kiir is an experienced war leader, but his name is not the law like the one of Garang. As of today, political decisions in southern Sudan must be made on a broader basis.... But a stable southern Sudan requires the integration of political tendencies and cooperation of all ethnic people, not only the one of the officers of a victorious rebel movement. It could then even be a model for reforms in the country as a whole - the basic condition for the success of the overall Sudanese peace process. If the SPLA recognizes this today and acts accordingly, the path to peace is open, a peace that rests on a more stable foundation than it was even thinkable before."
ITALY: "Two 'Excellent' Deaths Shake The Moral Capitals Of Bin Ladin"
Elite, center-left Il Riformista noted (8/2): "Saudi Arabia, Sudan. The two moral capitals of Bin Ladin's movement are shaken by two 'excellent' deaths. Not only is the death of King Fahd bound to have a great importance in the Islamic world, but so will the passing of John Garang, historic head of the Christian and animist minority and [Sudan's] vice president, who died in a helicopter crash.... In the African country, the specter of civil war, which ravaged the country for over 20 years, has returned."
RUSSIA: "Back To War?"
Yuliya Rusanova noted in centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta (8/2): "Garang was one of the most influential people in the south. Observers don’t rule out the possibility of renewed full-scale hostilities between the north and south."
"Air Crash Dashes Hope"
Aleksandr Gabuyev opined in business-oriented Kommersant (8/2): "John Garang’s mysterious death reminds many of the air crash that killed Rwanda's president in 1994. The death of the president, a Hutu by descent, led to genocide against the Tutsis. Later it was found out that Hutu radicals shot down the president's aircraft."
NORWAY: "Fragile Peace"
The newspaper-of-record Aftenposten commented (8/2): "Immediately after the death of Sudan's Vice President John Garang was confirmed officially yesterday, major unrest broke out in several cities in the country. The unrest shows that his death has created a vacuum that could endanger the country's fragile peace process. Garang was controversial, but the January peace agreement that put an end to more than 20 years of civil war in Sudan would not have happened without him. Merely three weeks ago, he put his past as rebel leader behind him for good and became the country's first vice president. The role he took on as guarantor of the peace agreement cannot be filled by anyone else.... There is danger that the whole peace process will break down and that the war will flare up again. Sudanese leaders on both sides bear a heavy responsibility to avoid this, and the international community also has to work hard to make sure the positive developments in Sudan continue."
Leading, government-owned Al-Ahram observed (8/2): "The loss of Garang is a strong blow to the peace agreement. What is more important though is not to let it fail. The next leader of the SPLM should be able to unite the people and fill Garang's space quickly so that the implementation of the agreement continues. At the same time, the violent acts by the southerners living in the suburbs of Khartoum should also end quickly, since the loss of Garang is enough for Sudan."
"Concerns For Future"
Aggressive, pro-government Al-Akhbar took this view (8/2): "The sudden departure of the Sudanese first vice-president raises concern about the future of Sudan and the fate of the peace agreement.... Yes, the loss of John Garang is immense for the Sudanese people, as President Umar al-Bashir said. However, everyone should work to stop this loss exceeding the boundaries of losing a great national leader like John Garang and affecting the future of the Sudanese people in the north and south."
"Death Of Garang"
Small-circulation, pro-government Al-Gomhouriya held (8/2): "Garang has left with all his history and work. Sudan remains to bless its people with security and peace and to bring back its unity. It is the only way to overcome difficulties, challenges and create a sunny tomorrow for all Sudanese."
SAUDI ARABIA: "Self-Restraint Needed"
London-based, Arab nationalist Al-Quds al-Arabi had this to say (8/2): "The biggest mistake Garang made was not to leave behind a strong deputy who could unite the movement and continue his policy after him. The scenario of war between the south and north has become a nightmare for all Sudanese people after the death of Garang--the political expert who stunned all the democrats and dictators in the Sudanese governments, and managed to impose his conditions at the end of it all.... Sudan is in dire need of self-restraint to overcome this difficult period that it is going through."
London-based, pan-Arab, pro-Libyan Al-Arab al-Alamiyah held (8/2): "The dangerous incident that befell dear Sudan as a result of the death of Dr. John Garang indicates that our dear Sudan is in thrall to terrible conspiracies, in which a number of European countries are taking part, as well as the U.S. These conspiracies have continued for more than 10 years. No doubt, Israel has played a part, be it by supporting the conflict which continued in southern Sudan for 20 years or by destabilizing the Arab country in many ways.... The withholding of the truth by the Sudanese media fomented clamor and caused the riots in Khartoum and other cities."
"Safety Valve Gone"
London-based, pan-Arab Al-Hayat stated (8/2): "After the departure of the first vice-president following his plane crash in the southern jungle, the game of Sudanese alliances will lose its main engineer. Sudan will lose a huge safety valve for many opposition groups who knew [Garang]."
LEBANON: "At A Crossroads"
Sahar Baasiri contended in moderate, anti-Syrian An-Nahar (8/2): "The dramatic death of a historic Sudanese leader at a difficult time...leaves many doubts. Will this death strike the historic settlement that Garang reached with the government in Khartoum? Garang’s death, even if it is only an accident, will raise doubts.... There is a need for a serious probe into this accident in order to calm the southern Sudanese and stop the chaos.... The peace agreement that stopped a 22-year old war between the south and the north and brought Garang back to Khartoum is still fragile.... That agreement needed strong leaders to implement it, not only because of its complexity, but also...to build a new Sudanese mentality.... Garang’s absence is a big problem for the peace agreement and will not pass by without a problem."
UAE: "Loss Of Sudan Leader Will Be Felt"
The English-language, expatriate-oriented Gulf News editorialized (Internet version, 8/2): "Khartoum must assuage fears that Garang’s death will not be fatal to the peace process.... No country epitomized the agonies of civil war more than Sudan.... But there were positive signs that the burden of history was being eased. The peace deal that saw rebel leader John Garang become vice-president was a huge step in the right direction. That deal did not just end the war but focused on the running of the country by implementing identifiable, practical measures.... Christian and non-Muslim southerners will be allowed to vote on secession from the Muslim north after six years. This deadline acts as a powerful incentive on Khartoum to make the deal work. Much still has to be done to turn a paper pact into reality on the ground. Refugees returning from Kenya, Uganda and Congo present a huge challenge. The countryside is littered with landmines. All these are formidable challenges for any government, but especially for one so recently formed after such upheaval. There is also the situation in Darfur, one of the world's worst man-made humanitarian crises. Garang's passing away has now cast a huge shadow over the political landscape that is experiencing the first seeds of a peaceful harvest. Khartoum must move quickly to assuage fears that Garang's death, while a huge blow, will not be fatal to the fledgling peace. Failure to do so will condemn the country to the darkness from which it has struggled to emerge."
The English-language, expatriate-oriented Gulf Today commented (Internet version, 8/2): "John Garang's untimely death threatens to undermine Sudan's fragile peace.... After incessant international pressure, peace appeared in the horizon when Garang and Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al Bashir signed a peace deal on Jan. 9. They decided to bury the bitter past and work together for the country's unity. Garang was sworn in as the first vice president on July 9 and it looked as if the unity government would put the country on track. With Garang providing the critical mass for the partnership between the mainly Christian south, which is rich in oil resources, and the Muslim-dominated north, a new dawn emerged in the African continent.... When he arrived in the Sudanese capital to assume the new political role as Bashir's deputy last week, he was given tumultuous welcome. But now his death has triggered massive rioting with the Christians targeting the Arabs. It showed how creaky was the newly cemented peace deal. There are shadowy forces meddling in Sudan where tribal factionalism is fanned in order to create confusion so that the country's oil wealth could be usurped. It was Garang's agreement on sharing of the oil wealth between the south and north that clinched the deal. With the rioting and an uncertain succession issue, the situation is getting complicated. Although the SPLM and the Khartoum government have vowed their continuing support to the peace agreement, there are concerns about the future of the peace process and reconciliation. The world should ensure that Garang's successors do not inflame anti-Arab sentiments.... The work on the interim constitution should be speeded up. The African Union, the United Nations and the European Union should intervene quickly to end the clashes that could go out of control. The SPLM should strengthen the unity among its cadres and it should realize that preserving peace is the best tribute it can give to Garang."
SOUTH AFRICA: “Sudan At The Crossroads”
Moderate The Pretoria News (8/4) commented: “The future of Sudan hangs by a slender thread.... By far the greatest burden for keeping the peace rests on Kiir, el-Bashir and other Sudanese. But this is also the right time for Africa and the rest of the world to weigh in with renewed support to the Sudanese at its hour of great need. The African Union in particular must exert itself extraordinarily to shepherd Sudan through this impasse and to put pressure on the Darfurians to resolve their conflict at a time when the country cannot afford such a major distraction. For a return to full scale civil war of the past would probably destabilize the region and hurt the improving reputation of the whole continent.”
Liberal The Witness (8/4) opined: “Garang was a key figure in a peace deal.... Riots have broken out.... Worse, Garang’s southern supporters...took to the streets in an ugly mood.... These events are eerily reminiscent of…the Rwandan civil war.... It's possible that the floodgates of ancient animosities--not tribal in this case, but religious and cultural--will open, leading to an unstoppable outbreak of killing. It would be a tragedy if this were to occur, particularly in view of the huge leap of faith taken by Garang in brokering the peace finally established this year, and of his unremitting efforts to unite the country and weld its peoples into a single Sudanese entity. One can only hope that the momentum set up by Garang’s endeavors can be maintained and that despite this serious setback the current tensions can be contained and violence halted before it becomes outright war."
“Old Warrior's Way Not Buried”
Pro-government, Afro-centric Sowetan (8/4) commented: “His [Ganrag’s] untimely death as the country took its first tentative steps towards peace might have sent shivers down the spines of those who bore the brunt of decades of war. But the speed with which the SPLM announced General Salva Kiir as its new leader is commendable.... Known as a pragmatic military man, Kiir should have a stabilizing effect on Sudan and he should be able to take over the vice presidency. President Oman Hassan al-Bashir should give peace a chance and quickly accept Kiir as his new deputy.”
The centrist Beeld held (8/3): "The sudden death of...Garang is a great setback for the peace process in Sudan.... The African Union and everybody who has an interest in peace in Sudan ought to support El-Bashir and the new interim government in every possible way so that Garang's death does not drag the country again into war."
"Keep Garang’s Legacy Alive"
Balanced Business Day declared (8/3): "Whatever fears there are on the prospects for peace in Sudan they are well founded.... Without doubt, Garang's death creates a gap in the movement's leadership and leaves his successor...Salva Kiir Mayardit, with the daunting task of keeping the party united and of rigidly persevering with his policies. But will he? A big threat to Garang’s dream of a united Sudan is Kiir Mayardit’s insistence on the south’s right to secede after the six year transition.... Southern Sudan desperately needs the peace promised.... The six-year transitional period...should be enough to enable southern rulers to make a clear choice between national unity and peace, or self-determination. South Sudan needs to support peace and unity. It owes it to Garang."
"Sudan Holds Its Breath"
The liberal Star judged (8/3): "[Garang’s] death necessarily places a large question mark over an already uncertain future. Both Khartoum and the SPLM/A insist that the peace deal is irreversible and that, indeed, Garang himself must take much of the credit for that, since he laid such a solid foundation. But it still remains uncertain whether the SPLM/A leadership...can keep the peace process on track.... Ultimately the country's fate lies in the hands of the Sudanese themselves, as it always has.... Africa and the world can perhaps help a little by delivering on their pledges to support the new government as well as the efforts to resolve Darfur and the other still festering regional conflicts. This is a decisive and dangerous moment for Sudan and for Africa, demanding patience and vigilance from all."
KENYA: "Players In New Sudan Peace Shouldn't Falter"
The investigative, sometimes sensational People held (8/3): "There have been fears that past wrangles within the SPLM may reemerge and thus jeopardize efforts to march ahead with the implementation of the comprehensive peace agreement. This would have been a great setback for the millions in Sudan who after years of a tiring war have only begun tasting the fruits of peace. It will be fundamental that the SPLM and the Sudan government seek urgent ways of ending violence in Khartoum and elsewhere in Sudan. They must seek to reassure the Sudanese people that they are committed to honoring the peace deal that Garang worked so hard for. On the other hand, the international community, especially the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, must move to ensure that nothing jeopardizes implementation of the comprehensive peace agreement."
"In Spite Of The West, Sudan Hasn't Failed"
Peter C. Thatiah wrote in the independent left-of-center Nation (8/3): "Weak states, propped up by the Cold War combatants, collapsed when that war was finally over, providing both the environment and the tools for armed groups and organized criminals to flourish. The tools of violence and the abundance of ammunition over the years, have ensured the perpetuation of armed conflict even when the original objective for their use was long gone. This is the cause of the violence in the region. It is amazing that in this turmoil, the West only managed to see the encroachment of Islam down south, and objectivity became the greatest casualty. Led by the politicians and the media, they refused to notice and highlight the small miracles taking place in Sudan against difficult odds in the past decade. Sudan has turned around a struggling economy with sound economic policies and infrastructure investments."
"Let’s Honor Garang By Keeping The Peace"
The independent, populist Standard editorialized (8/2): "In a cruel irony of fate, the man who fought for the freedom and justice of southern Sudan for 20 years, Dr. John Garang, is dead.... His death is a big blow to the people of Sudan and to the fragile peace agreement.... There is no bigger honor that Sudan can accord Garang than to ensure that what he started goes on.... Deviating from the path of peace would be to betray the ideals and vision Garang fought for. The international community must keep vigil on this country at this most trying of times. For if ever there was a time Sudan needed support, this is it. Africa has surely lost a great warrior and leader. May his spirit forever dwell among the peoples of Sudan."
"Garang’s Death A Big Blow To Sudan's Peace"
The investigative, sometimes sensational People judged (8/2): "His death could not have come at a worse time. It comes at a time when he was nurturing the peace deal and settling down for the real business of implementing the various concessions made by both sides in the negotiations.... While all is not lost, there is no doubt that Dr. Garang was also seen as a beacon of hope for peace in Darfur where marauding militia, allegedly enjoying tacit support from the Khartoum government, has massacred hapless residents. Dr. Garang was a sober and pragmatic leader who avoided populism even when it appeared that some of the positions he took did not excite his people who had lost hope of ever reconciling with the northerners."
"Sudanese Must Strive To Realize Garang’s Vision"
The KANU party-owned Kenya Times remarked (8/2): "Their pain is so easy to understand for Garang was an exceptional individual. He was a study in focus, in courage, in single minded determination and was synonym with inspiration to all those particularly in the south who for years had to endure abuse and indignity.... Garang loved Sudan and her people so the best tribute the people can give him is to honor the ideals he made sacrifices for and the vision he had for the country and carry on with the work he had began. That will be the best way to keep his legacy alive."
"History Will Look Kindly On Garang"
The independent left-of-center Nation (8/2): "The newfound peace in Sudan could be blown away, but then it might be propelled forward, following the death of Dr. John Garang.... There are many who held firmly that while Garang won the war, he didn't have it in him to be the peace leader.... He learnt new military tactics, but not fresh political ones. Yes, all that and more might be true. But when all is said and done, Dr. Garang will still be judged kindly by history."
NIGERIA: "The Situation In Sudan"
Malachy Ukpong penned this commentary for Radio Nigeria-Lagos Channel 1 (8/2): "It is unfortunate that just as the people of Sudan and the entire world were beginning to heave a sigh of relief, John Garang was killed in an helicopter crash as he was returning from Uganda.... There is no doubt that Mr. Garang’s death has caused a great setback in the peace efforts in the Sudan and in fact in the country's political landscape. Already, supporters of the late vice president many of them of southern Sudanese have violently taken to the streets venting their anger over his death. This appears to be a new dimension to the Sudanese crisis which should be tackled with caution. One cheering news item however is that Garang’s deputy in the SPLM has said that the movement remains committed to the peace agreement that Garang signed in January. It is hoped that this declaration would be translated to practical terms and calm all frail nerves following Garang’s death. The supporters of the late vice president should realize that the continuation of the peace process is the greatest honor they can bestow on their departed leader."
Pro-government of Sudan Al-Sahafa (8/4) commented: "What took place in Khartoum, over the past few days is not related to Southerners, but to the acts of hooligans. One must admit that there is not race or a culture that does not have members who are indeed hooligans. Hooliganism however could not be countered by hooliganism, and even if we are to justify the act of certain mobs by the absence of their basic education, I cannot quite comprehend, how it could spread amongst those who are educated! If a southerner or a northerner commits a crime, then he/she represents themselves only and not their entire race. Therefore, to revenge on the basis of race will lead us to the same mentality of hooliganism, which will lead us eventually to sedition in the whole country. All religious leaders should honor human life regardless of race or, religion or skin color, and call on individuals to do so. Revenge is a horrid instinct, if given a chance.”
"Peace Should Be The Main Target"
Pro-government of Sudan Sudan Vision opined (8/4): "What is urgently needed now in Sudan is the full and strict commitment to the wards concepts of coexistence and reconciliation. What is actually needed is that all concepts about coexistence and reconciliations should be brought to the people through their religious and local leaderships which are quite capable of communication with the grassroots.”
"Who Halts Anarchy Of The Mob?"
Independent Al-Ayaam editorialized (8/3): "Who can stop the mobs and the outlaws who are trying to take cover Khartoum, and who seized the opportunity following the death of Garang in order to impose anarchy in Khartoum? It was understandable for the citizens who supported the SPLA and who adored Dr. Garang to express their shock at the death of Vice President Garang, by going out to the streets in tears. However, what is not understandable and certainly not acceptable is that the authorities could loose control over to the mobs and criminals, without any intervention from the concerned parties (the SPLA, the Security authorities) to resolve any clashes that took place between civilians. Everyone seems to forget that patience has its limits and every action has its reaction, and if the concerned parties are in a state of anarchy, then it is no wonder that the reaction is anarchy itself. This is exactly what took place last Monday and Tuesday, when the expression of suddenness was transformed into aggression against innocent civilians. Sadly, those affected by the acts of vandalism, did not happen to be on the streets at the time of these events, but were actually in their offices and their stores. The citizens feeling of insecurity led them to from their own groups, which was transformed by time into initiatives to attack other identities. If the security authorities do not act in an effective manner to restrain criminals and the hooligans--who have no relation what so ever to the sadness engulfing Sudan, then we fear a civil war might take place which might begin by classifications like "southerner’ and ‘northerner’."
TANZANIA: "Garang's Death Should Not Mean End Of Peace In Sudan"
The Kiswahili-language, ruling party-owned tabloid Uhuru commented (8/3): "The head of the SPLA, John Garang is dead. He died just three weeks after the government he fought so hard to see established was formed. We want to believe that the crash of his helicopter was an accident like any other; that there is nothing sinister about it. It is our hope that Garang’s death will not lead to the dismantling of the Peace Accord that was recently signed, causing another war to erupt. We expect the people of Sudan to march forward and consolidate the gains achieved so far. Nothing should be allowed to disrupt the peace which is returning to that country. It is only a peaceful environment that will enable the people of Sudan to build their country and usher in prosperity and at the same time work toward pacifying other conflict regions like Darfur."
"Africa Has Lost A Revolutionary"
The Kiswahili-language, independent tabloid Mwananchi stated (8/3): "With the death of Dr. John Garang last Saturday, Africa has again lost one of its prominent leaders that were fully dedicated to fight for the true independence of our continent. If it were not for the leadership of Garang, the Sudanese Peace Agreement that was signed in January would not have materialized. It is painful to see that despite his life-long struggle fighting for the liberation of his people, he did not live to fully enjoy the fruits of his efforts, since he was just three weeks in the new government before he died."
"Garang Death A Terrible Blow To Peace Process"
The English-language, privately owned Daily Times editorialized (8/3): "The death of John Garang, Sudan's newly sworn-in first vice-president, is a terrible blow to Sudan's infant peace process. To all those who stand for peace and stability of Africa and the world at large, our prayer is that the Sudanese will remain level-headed. Sudan's President, Omar el-Bashir, has said he will work with the SPLM to continue to implement the peace agreement. Let all of us believe his words. Because we are confident that the peace agreement will proceed as the Sudanese president had always said, Tanzania believes that the leadership and the cadres of the SPLM/SPLA will remain united and strive to faithfully implement the peace agreement. Tanzania would like to encourage all parties in Sudan to exercise restraint and remain committed to the implementation of the comprehensive peace agreement, including the establishment of the government of national unity...as a legacy to the work and commitment of Dr. Garang to a peaceful Sudan."
"Give Peace A Chance"
The English-language, privately owned tabloid The African editorialized (8/3): "We understand the bitterness and frustrations the untimely death of Dr. Garang has wrought to the people of southern Sudan. To them Dr. Garang was a savior. In him lay their hopes for a peaceful and united Sudan, a Sudan without discrimination between the Arabs in the north and the blacks in the south. With him gone all their hopes are shattered, and hence, their frustrations and therefore the uncontrollable anger.... Luckily, the new SPLM leadership under Salva Kiir Mayardt, second in command under Garang, have come forward openly by accepting the official version of the cause of their leader's death. They have therefore appealed to the Sudanese masses to accept the fact that the cause of Dr. Garang's death was an accident.... We are also encouraged by the statement by both the Sudanese President, Omar EI Bashir and the new SPLM leader, who have both reiterated their commitment to the peace accord which Dr. Garang, signed and died for. We urge our brothers in Sudan to remain cool and determined to carry on with the spirit brought about by the January agreement that would eventually bring lasting peace to their country. The international community, especially neighboring countries, should not abandon Sudan at this hour of need.... The world should impress upon all the stakeholders in the Sudan peace accord to make sure the agreement is implemented and that eventually peace in the Sudan, which Dr. Garang has died for, is attained."
"Sudan Must Not Falter"
The English-language, state-owned Daily News judged (8/2): "The killing of former Southern Sudanese rebel commander-turned statesman, Dr. John Garang is a tragic blow to Sudan and the Eastern Africa region. It is tragic that Garang should die only three weeks after his inauguration as vice-president, a milestone to implementation of the comprehensive peace accord he signed with President Omar al-Bashir’s government in January to end two decades of bloody war between Southern and Northern Sudan. There can be no question that Dr. Garang was the father of the Sudanese peace deal, the hope of Southern Sudanese and the embodiment of the process to unify that country. This explains the widespread riots that greeted news of his sudden death. It is our hope that the unrest was a momentary expression of anger at the cruel expiry of a person who had done so much for his country and become a vital national icon.... The most fitting tribute SPLM and the people of Sudan can pay him is...to sustain the comprehensive peace process he had embarked on and realize his vision of a unified, democratic country. The peace accord is explicit that whoever succeeds Dr. Garang in SPLM becomes the next vice-president. That should provide for smooth transition from the tragic loss. Whatever they do, the people of Sudan must not drift back to the bloody civil war, which claimed nearly two million lives."
"Garang's Death Big Blow To Sudan Peace Dream"
The English-language, privately owned tabloid Citizen observed (8/2): "The more than a million people who turned up in Khartoum to welcome him to the capital three weeks ago were a testimony to how much the Sudanese people rested their hope for peace on him. Twenty years of a clearly defined struggle aimed at ending inequitable relations between the Muslim north and the largely Christian and animist south endeared him to those who believed in freedom and equality. But Garang was steadfast on the issue of unity; his was a vision of one Sudan, a nation shared by Africans whether black or Arabic, all enjoying the resources of the huge country as equal citizens. His was a fight for the dignity of the southern people, irrespective of their religious belief or the color of their skin. Therefore, his death will certainly bring complications to the nascent peace. The Nairobi pact and the subsequent Khartoum swearing-in ceremony were but the beginning of the road to real and permanent peace as aspired for by the war-weary people of that country. Indeed, the country was on the road to an all-encompassing peace following this latest peace agreement. It is such a great irony that a man who had spent half of his adult life at war would die not in action but after a comprehensive peace plan had been officially endorsed. Peace-loving people in Africa and the world at large can only hope that the achievements that were made possible thanks to Garang's leadership and sacrifice shall not be nullified by his untimely tragic death."
The center-right, state-owned New Vision concluded (8/2): "The passing of John Garang...is a shock to many who follow African politics.... Garang was the embodiment of the aspirations of southern Sudanese peoples, racially African, and politically and socially marginalized.... How far his legacy will last remains to be seen.... All Sudanese, Africans and the world community should ensure that Garang's death does not scuttle the peace."
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