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John Garang Obituary

Two excellent pieces remembering John Garang in this weeks Pambazuka News.

John Garang and Sudan’s search for peace by Abdelbagi Jibril provides a brief historical outline of his life and his contribution to the struggle for Human Rights in Sudan and Africa and his role in implementing the "Comprehensive Peace Agreement. (CPA)

Garang was a pan-Africanist, charismatic, independent-minded and a well-informed leader. He successfully led a guerrilla movement for more than 20 years since May 1983 and survived numerous moments of serious trouble including threats to his life, challenges to his leadership and secessionist elements within the SPLA/M. Some of his strong points were his pragmatism, independent mind, unshakeable conviction about the unity of the country and relentless resistance to attempts to transform Sudan into a Muslim and Arab-centric state. His resilience conferred on him the respect of his enemies and political opponents in Sudan and the confidence of regional and international observers.

In memory of John Garang by Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem (Pan African Postcard) searches for answers around his death.

The immediate consensus from many quarters was that foul play was unlikely. This quick verdict further fuelled one’s suspicions. Before a definitive verdict was declared there should have been an investigation first. There were two reasons why many people believed the ‘no foul play’ explanation. One, Garang was travelling from Uganda, on one of President Museveni’s aircraft flown by Ugandan crew. Since Museveni has been the closest regional ally of Garang it is inconceivable that he would have been party to any conspiracies against his long term comrade. The other reason I believe is that nobody wants to contemplate foul play because the peace process in which everyone has invested so much material and political resources for many years both regionally and internationally will be dead. Therefore fear of failure and desperation for victory dictates giving the benefit of the doubt.

 

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  1. Two other stories on John Garang:

    John Garang Memorialized by Sudan’s Top Novelist

    Kola Boof talks about John Garang, Bin Laden and More