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United States Expresses Concern over Violence in Sudan

03 August 2005

State Department urges calm in wake of death of Vice President Garang

The United States expressed concern August 3 over reports of violence in Khartoum, Sudan, following the death of First Vice President John Garang, who died in a helicopter crash over the weekend.

Garang, the former leader of the southern independence movement SPLA -- the Sudanese People's Liberation Army -- played a pivotal role in the implementation of the peace accord between southern and northern Sudan and recently became the country's first vice president.

State Department acting Spokesman Tom Casey said, "We strongly urge all parties to work diligently toward Dr. Garang's vision of a unified, prosperous, and peaceful Sudan."

Following is the text of the State Department statement:

(begin text)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
August 3, 2005

STATEMENT BY TOM CASEY, ACTING SPOKESMAN

SITUATION IN SUDAN

The United States is deeply concerned over reports of violence in Khartoum.  We echo the calls of the Government of National Unity, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, and Mrs. Rebecca Garang that the Sudanese refrain from violence.

We urge the Government of National Unity to take urgent steps to stop the violence, promote reconciliation, and maintain momentum on implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.  President Bashir recognized the gravity of the situation when he called an emergency cabinet meeting today, and invited the senior Sudan People's Liberation Movement's officer in Khartoum to participate.  It is our understanding that the Government has deployed additional security forces in Khartoum and other areas to stop the violence.  The United States joins the rest of the international community in calling for the Government to urgently take the additional steps that may be necessary and to send a clear message to all the people of Sudan regarding its determination to stop the violence and the steps being taken.

The United States remains firmly committed to the cause of peace in all of Sudan, including implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and resolution of the humanitarian crisis in Darfur.

We strongly urge all parties to work diligently toward Dr. Garang's vision of a unified, prosperous, and peaceful Sudan.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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