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Security Council calls for calm in Sudan in the wake of Garang's death

2 August 2005 As the United Nations mission in Sudan (UNMIS) reported ongoing violence in and around the capital, Khartoum, after the death of Vice-President and ex-southern rebel leader John Garang, the Security Council today called for calm and urged the world to rally around the Sudanese people to help them shore up the country's fledgling peace process.

"The Security Council stresses that Dr. Garang's death should not deter the Sudanese peoples' struggle for justice and dignity and encourages all the people of Sudan to refrain from violence and to maintain peace in the midst of mourning," said Ambassador Kenzo Oshima of Japan, which holds the rotating Presidency of the 15-nation body for August.

"This is a time for the world community to come together to support Dr. Garang's vision of a united and peaceful Sudan," he said, reading out a statement in an open meeting after a briefing on the current situation in Sudan. "The Council calls on all Sudanese to honour his memory by restoring peace and calm throughout Sudan," he added.

Mr. Garang, who for more than two decades headed the southern-based Sudanese People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), died in a helicopter crash over the weekend. He signed a power-sharing peace deal with the Khartoum Government in January, which ended a 21-year civil war and led to his swearing in as Sudan's first Vice-President only three weeks ago.

"The Security Council trusts that despite Dr. Garang's sudden death, the people of Sudan remain united and will continue to work for the consolidation of peace in the country by implementing the Comprehensive peace Agreement (CPA), for which he had worked unstintingly," Ambassador Oshima said.

Commending the perseverance and commitment which the parties in Sudan demonstrated in achieving the CPA and the promise of a new future, Ambassador Oshima reiterated the Council's determination to assist the Sudanese people in their efforts to promote national reconciliation, resolve the conflict in the western Darfur region, and restore peace and stability throughout the country and build a prosperous and united Sudan.

Meanwhile, on the ground in Sudan, a 12-hour curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. remains in effect in Khartoum in the wake of continuing violence in and around city, UNMIS reported. In one incident, southern Sudanese from squatter and displaced persons' areas on the outskirts of Khartoum attacked a market, which they looted.

In another area outside the city, northerners attacked a school and reportedly killed six or seven people, including children, according to the UN mission. The southerners reportedly retaliated and killed an Imam from the same area. In southern Sudan, the situation is reported to be calm.

In other news, UNMIS chief Jan Pronk, is expected to attend Mr. Garang's burial ceremony in Juba, scheduled for Saturday, 6 August.


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