KHARTOUM, Aug 2 (AFP) - Salva Kiir, who took over from John Garang as the leader of south Sudan, is a military commander with little experience as a statesman who faces the daunting task of shoring up the fledgling peace signed by his illustrious predecessor.
The Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) convened Monday in the southern Sudanese town of New Site to pick a successor for Garang, who was killed Saturday in a helicopter crash.
The former rebel movement, which signed a peace agreement in January that ended 21 years of a bloody civil war with the government, logically chose its first deputy chairman Salva Kiir Mayardit.
"The SPLM leadership and the SPLA military command affirmed General Salva Kiir as the chairman of the SPLM and commander in chief of the SPLA," the movement said in a statement after their meeting.
Garang, who had spearheaded the southerners' cause for three decades, had just moved to Khartoum and been appointed first vice president three weeks ago, when the country kicked off a six-year period of interim rule aimed at sealing the peace deal.
The agreement signed in Kenya in January and the recently drafted interim constitution state that any new chairman of the SPLM/A would automatically take the position of first vice president.
State foreign minister Najib al-Khaeir Abdelwahad confirmed on Tuesday that "it will be Salva Kiir succeeding Garang."
The charismatic Garang was the living symbol of his people's struggle for autonomy from Khartoum but he had also carved himself an image as the key player in a peace deal observers had hoped could stabilise the restive country.
Kiir, his long-time deputy and a member of the same Dinka tribe, is chiefly a military commander with little diplomatic experience whom some observers predict will struggle to fill Garang's shoes.
He speaks fluent English and Arabic -- the language of the north -- and is now the only surviving founding member of the SPLA.
"He has been in the SPLA forever," said one fighter, requesting anonymity.
Sudan expert Marc Lavergne was sceptical on Kiir's appointment and highlighted the destabilising effect of Garang's death on an already fragile peace process.
"Salva Kiir has a military background and is a poor orator, ill-prepared to take the position" of Sudanese first vice president, he said.
Other observers were more optimistic.
"It's true he is a military man but he was one of Garang's closest aides and has no alternative to continuing the struggle for a new Sudan," Khartoum-based lawyer and human rights activist Suleiman Ghazi told AFP.
The United Nations also heaped praise on Garang's successor.
"He has what it takes to continue on his predecessor's path, until now his declarations are very positive," said Radhia Achouri, spokeswoman for the UN envoy Jan Pronk.
"He is a disciplined man, extremely focused, extremely sharp. A man focused on action, not just words. He listens a lot, before making a decision," said a diplomatic source.
The new SPLM/A chairman now faces a variety of challenges.
Kiir and Garang had their differences and the new chief will have to assert his authority in southern Sudanese ranks, where some observers charge Khartoum continues to seek to sow discord.
Three weeks after Sudan kicked off a six-year interim period due to culminate in a referendum on the south's independence, Kiir will also have to rebuild north-south trust damaged by Garang's death.
"The principal strategy of Garang was to bring people (from north and south) together. I am not sure his successor will manage to do that. Will he manage to have the support of the northern elite?" said a high-ranking SPLM official.
"It doesn't matter whether or not Garang died in a helicopter accident, everybody in the south is convinced that it was an assassination," said Lavergne.
SPLM/A spokesman Pagan Anum said in an interview published Tuesday by the independent Sudanese newspaper Al-Rai al-Am that Kiir could be sworn in as the country's number two in two weeks.
Copyright (c) 2005 Agence France-Presse Received by NewsEdge Insight: 08/02/2005 08:26:59
Salva Kiir Mayardit From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Salva Kiir Mayardit is the president of semi-autonomous Southern Sudan and the successor to the post of Vice President of Sudan, following the death of John Garang in a crash on 30 July 2005. A founding member of the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), he was chosen by the SPLA leadership to continue the peace process that formally ended the Second Sudanese Civil War in January 2005. Like Garang, he is of the Dinka tribe, which is the most numerous in the south, but is from a different clan.
In the 1960s, Kiir had joined the southern rebels in the First Sudanese Civil War. By the time of the peace deal of 1972, he had become an officer in the rebel forces and found a position in the regular army. When John Garang joined an army mutiny that he had been sent to quell in 1983, Kiir joined with Garang to found the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), and rose to head its military wing, the SPLA.
Kiir was involved in the early stages of negotiating the peace treaty that ended the civil war and is well-known to northern politicians. His selection by the SPLM leadership to succeed Garang was seen by analysts as a clear signal that they intended to keep the peace process on course, despite Garang's unexpected death.
رأى المفكر الجنوبى البارز بونا ملوال في شخصية سلفا كيير أبان الأزمة التى نشبت بين قيادات الحركة في الأستوائية
The Unproductive Saga Within The SPLA (14)
For nearly two months, the internal dispute within the leadership of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) has been the subject of much talk – of insult to many innocent South Sudanese and even to families that may never have come close to political life at all in South Sudan. During this period, there have been accusations, counter accusations and denials. In short, the story had it that Colonel John Garang, the leader of the SPLA, had decided to arrest his number two man, Commander Salva Kiir Mayardit and to replace him with a more submissive individual within the SPLA. This is a rather world famous tactic of all tyrants. The instructions were that if Salva Kiir resisted arrest, he should be shot dead.
As a matter of self-preservation, Salva Kiir Mayardit decided to take protective measures by barricading himself at his headquarters in Yei, in central Equatoria. The confrontation between the two leaders of the SPLA became public. The entire South Sudan went into some panic and into self recrimination, accusations and abuses.
Typical of his well practised tactic, Colonel John Garang read the picture correctly. He stooped to conquer. Instead of forcing the issues, he issued denial after denial that there was any rift between him and his number two. SPLA delegation after SPLA delegation went to Yei, to persuade Salva Kiir to reconcile with John Garang – in other words, to give in.
My personal experience with those who organise reconciliations in South Sudan, between John Garang and those he has disagreed with is that one is not allowed to voice any grievances against John Garang. The aggrieved should just give in. The causes of the dispute are not permitted to be stated, “the Chairman” does not wrong anyone. The interest of the South is always at stake in any dispute with John Garang and the interest of the South is in the charge, only of John Garang alone. So, Salva Kiir Mayardit may be number two to John Garang, but he is, after all, a subordinate to this “invaluable” leader of South Sudan. He must give in.
It is not for me to guess what went on in the head of Salva Kiir Mayardit as he set there in Yei for weeks, receiving all these John Garang’s sponsored peace delegations to plead with him for reconciliation. Matters were made that more difficult for Kiir Mayardit, when his anger irrupted at the time and his effort to protect himself from the obvious dangers, were linked with the possibility that the moves he was making would derail the peace agreement that Colonel John Garang was now drumming up as being so close to being delivered by himself to the people of South Sudan. So, Salva Kiir Mayardit had to give in.
As an individual, the beauty of Salva Kiir Mayardit’s personal character, is not in any ambition that he may have to be a leader for anyone, but in his modesty and humility. He could not allow himself to go down as one who had denied South Sudan the attainment of peace that has become so urgent. So, after misleading so many young and old of South Sudan, that he was now prepared to undertake a change within the SPLA that might restore the unity of the people of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit packed and went to Rumbek, to be celebrated by the SPLA cohorts of John Garang for submitting to the leader once more. So, was it reconciliation in Rumbek or surrender? Take it as you may!
The tragedy of South Sudan, under the leadership of John Garang remains unresolved. Internal unity of the people of South Sudan and the attainment of peace remain central to this tragedy. The meeting of the SPLA leadership in Rumbek has not resolved anything. The trend within the SPLA was inevitably towards patching up and staying united as a movement under John Garang. That, cannot under any imagination, be translated into the unity of the people of South Sudan.
If Salva Kiir had determined that a change of leadership within the SPLA was now necessary, after 22 years of Colonel John Garang’s repression, murders and atrocities, it may have offered the people of South Sudan their first opportunity to unite and sort themselves out as they move towards peace. The leadership of South Sudan would have remained in the hands of the SPLA, since this would have been an internal leadership adjustment acceptable to the people of the South. In sober organisations that have institutions, a change from number one to number two is not dreaded the way it was being within the SPLA last month. It is another proof of the totalitarian nature of the regime that is called SPLA.
Whether Colonel John Garang will spare Salva Kiir Mayardit his life, something he is not known for and which the Colonel has not done to the many murdered leaders of South Sudan who fell victim to his mean and cruel heartedness, remains to be seen. Colonel John Garang is very adept in choosing his time to kill. But Salva Kiir Mayardit is a soldier, he must know what he has calculated for himself. If he is fool hardy about his own personal security, then tough luck to him. The last British Governor General of Sudan once said to the South Sudanese mutineers of the 18 August 1955 uprising in Torit: “Surrender like men and face the consequences of your own action.”
Whether or not Colonel John Garang will not sign a peace agreement for the people of South Sudan with the government of Sudan must also await the judgment of time. The Colonel may now well sign up the peace agreement. Given the current challenge to his leadership by Commander Salva Kiir Mayardit, he will know that much of what has already been agreed upon in the peace negotiations, has anyway concentrated power in his hands. He may now judge that in the circumstances, he has a much better chance of fighting his enemies, including Salva Kiir Mayardit under a peace agreement than in the bushes of South Sudan.
What has not changed, however, and will not change, until Colonel John Garang changes his ways of dealing with the people of South Sudan, or until there is a change of leadership within the SPLA, is that the people of South Sudan will not rest until they have a better leader than John Garang. This is the way of any struggling people, who have suffered so much, not just in the hands of their external enemy, but in the hands of their own so called leader. Remember Romania and all the revolutions of Eastern Europe after the collapse of communism there!
The people of South Sudan have not lost their direction, no matter what the SPLA leaders do or say. The peace that Colonel John Garang may sign, is not a peace that is crowning a military victory against the North, as some unrealistic SPLA leaders may want us to believe. This is a peace agreement that is a compromise in a stalemated military situation at best. Whoever signs this peace agreement, must not masquerade as a victor. Those who sign the peace agreement on behalf of the people of South Sudan, will do well to recognise that the only way that peace is going to work for the people of South Sudan, is by honestly co-operating with whoever they sign that peace with in Northern Sudan. This again, is something that a more honest and sincere leader like Salva Kiir Mayardit might have offered the people of Sudan as a whole, had he managed to take over the leadership of the SPLA. Peace needs a peace partner on both sides, not a perpetual conspirator, like Colonel John Garang.
Now that the Rumbek meetings have restored the leadership of the SPLA to Colonel John Garang, it is right to remind the people of South Sudan again, of what is at stake for them and why the internal shenanigans within the SPLA do not resolve anything for them. The people of South Sudan want an honest peace that will be implemented honestly, to their benefit, by a good and trustworthy leadership, which they still do not have. Internal unity within South Sudan remains shattered and needs to be restored. Only a consensus of the people of South Sudan, rather than an imposition by a strongman through a strong arm method will do it. South Sudanese must insist on a restoration of internal transparent democracies that the SPLA leadership has denied them for 22 years and continues to deny them. The weak civil society organisations of South Sudan, which the SPLA leadership has persistently attempted to recruit as auxiliary organisations for itself, rather than permitting them to exercise their own operational autonomy, must exert themselves in the interest of their people. These rights are not granted by anyone, they are fought for. The people of South Sudan are well capable of fighting for their rights. They must not give up, whatever the propaganda barrage of a corrupt and devious leadership.
When one looks at the political contour of South Sudan today, it is clear that the SPLA is the single most well organised. There ought to be no wonder, or dispute about that. After all, this was one time the only liberation army of the people of South Sudan as a whole. Not only had the people of the South supported it for that purpose, but they overlooked the terrible internal atrocities committed against them by the SPLA for that reason. But, it is clear that over the years, because of the terrible leadership of John Garang, there have been many breakaways from the SPLA of various armed groups of South Sudanese. If you add these to the large numbers of armed militia that sprang up in South Sudan, with the sole objective of protecting their own ethnic communities from the excesses of the SPLA and who have naturally had to link up with and become supported by the government of Sudan, then the SPLA becomes a minority armed group in South Sudan today, if you put all the militia together. Whatever the SPLA leadership thinks of itself and its military power, the only way to overcome the armed militia problems for the people of South Sudan, is to recognise them for what they are; honestly and genuinely offering them a share of power under the new peace agreement, rather than attempting to use a strong hand, in order to recruit them into the SPLA or fighting them, or abusing them. Once again, the solution here, can only be found in the South South dialogue that Colonel John Garang continues to oppose and stonewall.
Having said all that, there has already, clearly begun a nucleus of a very broad based South Sudan political front. It consists of most of the groups already mentioned in this piece, who are marginalised by the SPLA leadership. If you add to that, the clear malcontent with the SPLA leadership within that movement that one senses across much of South Sudan, then it is clear that the real enemies of South Sudan will simply wait to feast tomorrow, when the South Sudanese finally tear themselves to pieces, because of leadership failing. When that happens, the blame for that, cannot be directed towards those of us who speak out now, in an effort to prompt South Sudanese into their right senses and corrective action.
For now, the various political groups of South Sudan, who are disfranchised by the notion of the SPLA that only those who have become recruited into the SPLA membership, or support its “New Sudan” agenda, should speak or function, must not relent under whatever pressure. That would be allowing the wrong and a lie to triumph over right and truth.
The South Sudanese Conference – the flagship for the unity amongst the South Sudanese, which Colonel John Garang has dreaded and actively undermined and opposed over the years, must be pursued to its natural conclusion. Instead of insisting that the SPLA either organises such a conference, or even become part of it, perhaps, it is now in the best interest of the political process in South Sudan, that this conference is organised by all the South Sudanese except the SPLA. This should put an end to the continuing efforts of the SPLA leadership to recruit other South Sudanese opinion into its own, rather than listening to it and or dialoguing with it. It will also be in the short and long term political interest of South Sudan, that there is political accountability, pluralism and transparency. This, after all, is what democracy is all about.
There are many flying accusations by the SPLA leadership and their agents, that those of us who call for the South South dialogue, do so with the prompting of the government of Sudan. Cheap accusations like that, are always part of politics, especially in the deprived world of South Sudan, where individual’s understandable misery in life, is explained in what is perceived as a comparative affluence of one’s neighbour. Many SPLA commanders, who have unfortunately, been forced to convert their time and energies into private trade and money making, because of the mismanagement of the SPLA resources by the leadership, also suffer from the same accusations of buying and selling their time to someone else. In the end, these accusations never resolve any problems.
If the SPLA fails to persuade the government of Sudan, that it is a good and honest partner with that government with which it is about to sign a peace agreement, then the SPLA alone, is responsible for that failure. The government of Sudan, whoever holds it, is a crucial partner to peace with the South. If the SPLA fails to unite the South with itself under peace, then it cannot, at the same time, prevent those Southerners it has failed to unite, from communicating with the government; indeed, doing political business with the government of Sudan and with the entire North, is an unavoidable reality of political life. Any idle talk of money, of buying and selling opinion to the North, is both childish and cheap. It will not deter those determined to find the correct formula for public life in South Sudan.
Commander Salva Kiir Mayardit, deputy chairman of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) and commander of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), has appealed to Australian churches to be the advocates of the people of southern Sudan.
He was speaking to members of a delegation from the National Council of Churches in Australia. The delegation recently visited north and south Sudan.
Commander Salva is a practicing Catholic. He told the group the war the National Islamic Front government of the north is waging against the people of the south amounts to genocide - and that the world is silent about it.
He stressed that the only solution to the situation in Sudan - sometimes called the worst humanitarian tragedy since World War II - is peace.
The government is carrying out a jihad (holy war) against the south. The people of the north are mainly Muslim and Arab. The people of the south are African and mainly Christian or follow traditional religions.
The commander was echoing calls by the churches in Sudan to the delegation:
. To be advocates for the people of southern Sudan.
. To urge the Australian government to be involved in the peace process.
. To put pressure on the oil companies. The government in Khartoum is using money from oil, which is pumped from the south to the north, to fund the war against the south.
Commander Salva said the government of Sudan is spending US $3 million a day on the war. Most of this comes from oil revenue.
"Our people have suffered a lot," he told the delegation.
"They need somebody to be their advocates. And you are the right people to take the message to the people of Australia that the war being fought in Sudan is a genocidal one.
"It is not only genocidal, it is being committed in silence. Nobody will talk about it.
"People need peace. An honourable peace is what we want, a peace that will last."
Churches have a special role in informing the international community, he said.
"Nobody can quieten the churches," he said." Even during the communist era, the churches did not die in the Soviet Union when it was so great. Churches were existing there - and they were speaking out about all the oppression that was happening.
"We believe that, through you, one day our case will be seen by the international community."
Commander Salva said the SPLM follows the IGAD declaration of principles. IGAD (Inter-Governmental Authority on Development) represents countries in the region. It was set up to promote peace and stability and the peaceful resolution of conflicts.
Commander Salva would like Australia to do whatever it can to support the IGAD peace process - perhaps by becoming an observer nation at the peace talks.
"The IGAD declaration of principles speak of a negotiated peaceful solution to the war in Sudan," Commander Salva said. "And within this is the right to self-determination of the people of southern Sudan and the marginalised areas.
"This can be achieved only when the war has stopped."
Once the war has ended there should be a referendum on the right to self determination. The referendum should be supervised by the international community.
"Of course, the government of Sudan does not accept this," he said. "It feels that, if the war stops, and people vote in a referendum, the southern Sudanese will vote for independence, cutting off the south from the north.
"For this reason they will not allow it, and they will never allow it. So the government of Sudan took to arms. They feel they have to solve this problem by military means. They want a military victory over the SPLA. This is why this war has been going on for such a very long time."
The war has been going for 19 years.
"Of course, for the north, it would be an historical mistake for them to allow the south to secede," he said. "There is virtually nothing in the north. All the wealth is in the south. There is oil, there are agricultural lands, there are all the rivers. So they cannot allow this to happen.
"This is why the situation is so difficult. This is why we want you to be our voices, wherever you are."
Most of the south, with the exception of places like Juba, the capital of the south, is held by the SPLA. These liberated areas are known as New Sudan.
Commander Salva said the people of New Sudan need humanitarian help.
"They need education, health services, good roads - everything," he said. "People are hungry. They are human beings and they need all these things.
"The only way to get these things is to stop the war."
He said that, if international oil companies could be persuaded to stop exploiting oil from the south, the war would end.
"The north could not finance the war without the oil," he said.
"If they continue to exploit this oil the war will never stop, and maybe they will achieve what they are looking for - that is, military victory - because they will bring in a lot of military weapons. They will hire mercenaries from other countries.
"The people who are bombing our civilian population now are not really Sudanese. They have pilots from Iraq, from Iran, people from Libya, Afghanistan and some Russians.
"If the international community were to rise up and stop this oil, at least for the time being, it could achieve peace. Then there would be no problem about the war. We want you to help bring this about."
Commander Salva said the government of Sudan has no respect for human rights.
"They are so desperate that they do not want any living thing here in southern Sudan," he said. "They want only the land. If they were interested in people there would be no reason to bomb trading centres and school compounds.
"Even when they find the cattle in our areas - the Dinka and the Nuer are cattle owning people - they drop bombs on the cattle, killing the livestock.
"The international community should isolate this government from international bodies.
"They are actually connected to al-Qaeda. Osama Bin Laden himself was in Sudan for about five or six years and had his headquarters here. People believe that senior members of al-Qaeda are still within Sudan. They are being hidden now in the bushes of southern Sudan in garrisons in the south where journalists and diplomats cannot find them. But they are still there.
"All this should be brought out into the open and the international community should confront the regime with it.
"These are the people who have taken on themselves the responsibility of exporting extremism. Islamic extremists are to be trained in Sudan and then sent wherever they can carry out these terrorist activities.
"Unless this regime is removed, there can be no peace in Sudan, and there can be no peace in the whole region and the world at large."
*Nicholas Kerr, the editor of the Uniting Church in Australia's "New Times" in Adelaide, was a member of the NCCA delegation.
نبذة تأريخية عن قيادات الحركة الشعبية بما فيهم القائد سلفا كيير ميارديت
SPLM/A Leaders Bio-data,Profile,and Personalities
Sudan People Libration Movement (SPLM) Leaders Bio-data and profiled:
In 1983 the Civil War begins in earnest when forces under Kurbino Kwanyin attack government forces on 16 May. The following month forces under William Nyon Bany attack at Ayod. In Ethiopia the SPLA is founded under John Garang and his deputy, Salva Kiir. It is said that Garang, being a colonel and having the highest rank in the Sudanese People's Armed Forces (SPAF), was named leader. Kerubino Kwanyin was second in rank because he was the first to oppose SPAF forces. He was a major in the SPAF and senior in rank to William Nyon Bany and Salva Kiir. Another important figure was Ngachigak Ngachiluk, an Alternate Member of the Political and Military High Command who was killed in attack on Kapoeta, January 1988. The SPLA's initial military organization -- the Permenant Political Military Office -- comprised five senior commanders, viz., John Garang, KurbinoKwanyn, William Nyon Bany, Salva Kiir, and Arok Thon Arok. They were considered at first to be under the control of the SPLM, the civilian rebel movement, led by Joseph Oduhu and Martin Majer. Originally, Oduhu was considered the senior member of the SPLM/SPLA because of his age and experience. The SPLM was, however, quickly subsumed by John Garang and the use of SPLM/SPLA had no real meaning as the SPLA directed all political and military operations. In July 1986, after Lam Akol fled the north, the SPLA added four senior military commanders to those that existed. Lam Akol in Northern Upper Nile and Southern Kordofan, Lt. Colonel Yousif Kuwa Mekki, a Nuba tribal, for Southern Kordofan and the Nuba Hills, and Lt. Colonel Daniel Awet Akot, who had been responsible for much of successful SPLA activity in and around Renk. By March 1993 the SPLA had split into four "factions" opposing John Garang: (1) The William Nyon Bany/Joseph Oduhu (2) The Riak Machar/Lam Akol (Nasir Group) (3) Kurbino Kwanyn/other military (Bahr el-Ghazal Group) (4) Arok Thon Arok. (Bor Citizens Group) The factions initially formed the so-called "Unity" group of the SPLA, but they soon fell apart. Riak Machar and Lam Akol split, to form 'SPLA-United' led by Lam Akol, and 'Southern Sudan Independence Movement' (SSIM) led by Riak Machar. Joseph Oduhu was killed in southern Sudan during an attack by the SPLA on SSIM positions, while a meeting between Riak Machar and Joseph Oduhu is taking place. William Nyon Bany shifted his allegiance between SSIM, the government and the SPLA. He was killed, in an attack on his positions, by SSIM forces on January 13, 1996. Riak Machar, Kurbino Kwanyn and Arok Thon Arok signed a 'Political Charter' with the Government of Sudan in Khartoum in April 1996. Both Riak Machar and Kurbino said their forces are now fighting along government forces against the SPLA.
ABU JOHN, Samuel; Zande from Western Equatoria (Tambura?). The first southerner to graduate from Sudan's military academy (1954). Former Anyanya? In the 1990s active SPLA member in Maridi and Yambio.
ACHOL, SPLA doctor; (only doctor in Kapoeta in 4/1989). Born 1951. Trained in Juba, Egypt; worked in Arab nations and Rumania. Joined SPLA in Addis Ababa in 1985. (His medical assistant Dr. Dau.)
Agassio AKOL Tong; Colonel; Chief of Staff of "1st Axis Command", 4/1987 in Pibor region. At war with Koni's militia.
Dr. Lam AKOL Ajawin:An engineer and lecturer at Khartoum University. Lam was said to be a secret SPLA contact long before he fled to the south (in late 1985). Head of delegation to Nairobi peace talks, 11-12/1989; also accompanying, Dr. Mansour Khalid, Alt. Cdr. Elijah Maluk, Alt. Commander Patrick Ayiteng, "Captain" John Luk; Dr. Marial Benjamin; Captain Daniel Kodi; Captain Muhammad Said Bazarah; 1st Lts., Joseph Akuot Wet, Yasir Said Arman and Zamba Duku. SSIM founder. After leaving SPLA moved to Nairobi. Dismissed as Secy, External Affairs, SSIM, 2/1994. Now Commander-in-Chief of 'SPLA-United' operating in Upper Nile.
Joseph AKWON: From Anuak tribe, born at Pachala and beginning in 1970 the leader of Upper Nile forces during the first civil war. Killed near Malakal in early 1972, he was then second in command to Joseph Lagu. He was responsible for cementing the Israeli-Anyana relationship through which the rebels were provided Uzis, AKs, and other material. Helped set up training camps in Sudan which were assisted by Israel. In a sense laid the foundation for the Ethiopian training camps used by SPLA during the second civil war. Akwon was a separatist, and it is likely the Addis accord of 1972 would not have been signed had he been alive. Akwon's forces were first to revolt against Numayri, forming what became Anyanya II. When the SPLA was able to split the Anyanya II, it was reported (Africa Confidential, 17 Nov 89) that "Israel extended support to the SPLA."
(Oyai) DENG AJAK; Commander, Fashoda Batallion; responsible for shooting down civilian airliner near Malakal, 8/1986.
Deng ALOR Kuol: Major; Often acts as SPLA spokesman. With John Garang flown on 30 Oct 89 from Nairobi to Addis Ababa on Tiny Rowland's Gulfstream. 12/1989 met with former interior minister Mubarak al-Fadil al-Mahdi in Addis; 1/1990 called Alternate Commander and was located in Addis Ababa. Attended NDA organizational meeting in Addis, 3/1990. Wife Ethiopian. Reported arrested in Addis Ababa, 6/1991. In March 1994 was named SPLA Council member and responsible for the state's affairs portfolio. Attended Nairobi peace talks, 8/1994.
Pagan AMUM OKICH; Shilluk from Malakal; law student (1982) who organized a group of dissidents in 1982 and led them to Ethiopia. Joined the SPLA in 1983. Served in various tasks, Military Administrator and Civilian Administrator in Malakal, Bahr al- Ghazal and Melut. Appointed Civilian Administrator of Kapoeta in 1991. Spent two years in early 1980s "training" in Cuba. Speaks fluent Spanish. called SPLA Spokesman, 8/1994.
AQUOT ATEM; With Samuel Gai Tut an early founder of Anyanya II. He was killed in August 1984 by units commanded by Lt. Col. William Abdallah (note RCC section).
Arok Thon AROK: SPAF major and SPLA commander since founding of SPLA in 1983. Arok is said to be a relative of John Garang (MEI, 5 March 93). SPAF intelligence officer of the 13th brigade in Upper Nile. A member of the SPLM/SPLA Political-Military High Command, he was senior in rank to Kerubino, William Nyuon and Salva Kiir, but was the last of the five SPLA commanders to join the rebel movement. He was four years member of the SPLA Political-Military High Command and Deputy Chief of Staff for Administration and Logistics. Member of delegation who visited Libya in 1984 to obtain arms. He was reported to have negotiated secretly with SPAF General Burma Nasir during a trip to Britain in 1988; Arok's wife died in the latter part of 1987, and he was in England to place his children in school. When Garang found about the meeting Arok was expelled from the SPLA. Arok was close to Kurbino Kwanyn. William Nyon Bany was responsible for releasing Kurbino and Arok when he split with Garang. He went to Uganda where he was placed under house arrest by Museveni, and then was released in February 1993. He signed the 'Political Charter' with Khartoum in April 1996, and now lives in Khartoum.
Daniel AWEIT AKOT: Alternative Member of the SPLM/SPLA Political-Military High Command and (as early as 1987) the zonal commander for Northern Bahr al-Ghazal.
Mukii BATALLI; Radio SPLA representative, 1989.
Garang BEK; RCC called him Lt. Colonel; RCC claimed was killed near Rumbek, along with Capt Atok Riak, and Lt. Barak Majak, 11/1989. Barrabas BENJAMIN; Member, SPLA Central Committe, Head of Foreign Affairs Committee and SPLA Special Representative in southern Africa (1988- ). Often seen in Zimbabwe and Chad.
Benjamin BOL; Early SPLA leader and SPLA member in London who met with U.S. types in mid-1984. Was reported in the Guardian, 27 February 27, 1993, that he reported that Bob Fraser of the U.S. Embassy introduced multimillionaire Roland "Tiny" Rowland to John Garang, after which Rowland became a member of the SPLA. Died in August 1984 in Ethiopian custody. According to confidential source was apparently in the pay of both Libya and the North, and Ethiopia found out.
William Didi BONIO: 1st Lt. Chief, Fertit, along with Chemi al-SHAN joined SPLA in 1988. Led Fertit who took Deim Zubair, 11/1990.
Daniel CHOL Riak: Noted SPLA commander of the Leer/Adok region (11/198 and later (1989) of northern Bahr al-Ghazal. Very favorably disposed to international aid agencies.
Nhial DENG NHIAL: SPLA spokesman in Addis Ababa (1989). SPLA spokesman, 1993.
Wilson DENG; SPLA captain; led final attack on Torit, 4/1989.
Lual DING WOL; Commander; Located at Addis Ababa, 2/1990; worked with Mubarak al-Fadil al-Mahdi to set up NDA.
Thomas DUT; Ostensibly an SPLA colonel who defected to government in Malakal, 1/1994.
Samuel GAI TUT; Founder of Anyanya II. Emerged as significant force in June 1982. With Khoang, arrested in June 1982 for gun-running. Killed in firefight with SPLA in April 1984.
James GARANG; SPLA member, Nairobi peace talks, 8/1994.
John GARANG de Mabior: Dinka, born June 23, 1945 at Wagkulei village, Upper Nile. Father died at age 9, mother at age 11. Attended high school in Tanzania where one classmate was Uganda's President Museveni. U.S. educated (B.Sci., Grinnel, 1971), after which he became adjutant to General Joseph Lagu of the Anyanya. Following Addis Ababa agreement entered SPAF in 1972 as captain. (Ph.D., 1977-1981, Iowa State); military training at Fort Benning, 1974. His wife has high school equivalency from USA; three sons, one born in USA, oldest son is now about 15 years old; At the start of the civil war Garang was an active duty Colonel. In 1982 he had begun teaching at Khartoum University. and military war schools. In May 1983 was sent by President Numayri to Bor to put down revolt. Took charge of the SPLA in 1983. Held position through 1993, in the context of the 'New Sudan' declared by the SPLM's first conference held in March 1994, in which the SPLA Council will administer 'the liberated areas.' Garang kept the defense portfolio for himself in addition to the chairmanship of the council.
Yacoub ISMAEL; In 1984 joined SPLA along with a 'small force of professional troops'. From Western Sudan.
Yusuf KOWAH MEKKI ; SPLA commander of the New Cush brigade (1989-) ethnic Nuba and Muslim. Commander of forces that managed to control much of southern Kordofan by late 1989. Director of SPLA Convention Organizing Committee, 9/1993. In March 1994 named SPLA Council member for Kordufan affairs. In July 1994 called number 3 man in heirarchy of SPLA Executive Council. Signed general agreement with DUP's Dr. Ahmad al-Sayyid Hamid in Cairo, 7/1994. Attended Nairobi Peace Talks, 8/1994.
KERUBINO Kwanyn Bol; former Anyanya, and then Lt. Colonel in the SPAF and a commander in the 13th Brigade in Upper Nile. His Arab superiors felt he had a weak education, and that Garang was much more talented. One of first SPLA leaders. Commander of Batallion 105 at Pibor in March 1983 and led mutiny at Bor, Pibor and Pochala. Second in command of SPLA, but broken with Garang, with subsequent armed clashes, in September-October 1986. Arrested by Garang, he was detained until 1991 when released by William Nyon. He fled to Uganda and was placed under house arrest by Museveni until 2/1993, when he was released. Led 2,000 soldiers in an attack that leveled Mayen Abun, 5 July 94; RCC's Angelo Beda announced he had joined government, 18 July 94. Together with Riak Machar, he signed the 'Political Charter' with the Sudan government in April 1996.
Dr. Mansour KHALID; is the Vice-chairman of the World Commission on Environment and Development. Former Foreign Minister of Sudan, he was one of the first northerners to join the SPLA. A long-time political advisor to the SPLA. He is the author of 'Numayri and the Revolution of Dis-May' (1985) and 'the Government They Deserve' (1990) and other books in both English and Arabic languages. Salva KIIR Mayar Dit: Dinka from Bahr al-Ghazal and follower of John Garang practically from the inception of the Civil War. Believed related to Kenyano Kiir, SRRA rep, and teacher at Akon, Bahr al-Ghazal. Following March 1994 SPLA meeting after which a Council will administer 'the liberated areas.' Garang was named Chairman of the council and Commander Salva Kiir, his deputy, got the foreign and interior portfolios. Led delegation to Nairobi Peace Talks, 8/1994. Richard Mulla represented Riak.
GORDON KOANG (Kong) CHOL; Lt. Colonel and commissioner of Jonglei province, arrested on gun-running in June 1982. Early Anyanya II leader, who with William DENG, went over to Numayri in October 1984. In late 1987, Koang and most of the Anyanya II leadership went over to the SPLA. SPLA commander who captured Nasir 1/1989.
John KULONG ; Nuer, putative Duputy Chief and "Colonel", of SPLA/UNITED (SSIM), who surfaced in Khartoum in 7/1994.
LINO Abyei, Edward. Born Abyei. SPLA administrator, 6/1989. Called Captain, 9/1989. Visited Europe and USA with Garang, 9/1989.
LUK, John. SPLA Representative in London ...1985... Later joined SSIM. As commander, arrested by Riak Machar, 6/1994.
Kuol Manyang Juuk: Born in Bor, 1946. Attended teacher training school in Khartoum and taught school at Wad Medani and Wau. Had some training in West (FRG) Germany in mid-1970s. Secondary school teacher at Wau, until moving to Juba in 1977 and teaching at the University of Juba. He joined the SPLA in 1983. SPLA commander first in the Kapoeta area, then in the Juba Area (1989). His troops took Torit in 1989; Regional Commander at Torit 4-5/1991 - ?. It was stated in 1991 that Kuol ranked about 7th in the SPLA heirarchy after Garang, William Nyon, Salva Kiir, Riak Machaar, Lam Akol and Dr. Riak MACHAR Teny ?.
Dr. Riak MACHAR Teny: A Nuer, said to have Dinka blood. Born at Leer in 1953. 26th son of the chief of both Ayod and Leer. Presbyterian. Attended Khartoum University. Received Doctorate from University of Bedford, England in 1984. Early SPLA leader, whose family was located in Britain; For years the Zonal Commander for Western Upper Nile; Led forces that attacked and overran Melut in 1989. Visited family 9/1989, for first time since war started; In 1990 based at Leer. Later SPLA Regional Commander for a region from the Ethiopian border to Renk and to Ayod/Waat in the south. He was residing at Ketbek, 5 km. from Nasir (4/1991); with him then was Gordon Koang Chol, who was local commander. Attended Conference of Minorities in the Arab World, Cyprus, 5/1994. Sighned the 'Political Charter' with the Sudan government in April 1996.
Martin MAJER Gai; Dinka from Bor region. Attended Rumbek Secondary; Graduated Khartoum University in Law, 1967. Deputy Speaker of Southern Assemby; joined southern rebel movement in July 1983. He reportedly was jailed by Garang in 1985 when he supported southern separation from the Sudan. Freed from captivity by William Nyon in 1992. In January 1993 it was reported that Majer had met with Arok Thon Arok and KurbinoKuanyin. Lam Akol stated later in January he, along with commanders Martin Makur Aleyu from Rumbek, Kawaj Makuei from Aweil and Wal Athieu (who reportedly did not join the Nasir faction), formerly in charge of Yei front, had joined the William Nyon faction. Reportedly killed by SPLA soldiers, 7/1994.
Elijah MALoK : SRRA official 1989-1992. Replaced by Justin YAK, 1/1993.
Martin MANYIEL Ayuwal ; SPLA Lt. Colonel, commander of the Narus base, 8/1986. Alternate member of SPLA Political-Military High Command, 3/1990; Met with NDA leaders in organizational meeting, Addis, 3/1990.
Dau Manyok; SPLA Alternate Commander responsible for occupation of Kajo Kaji in 2/1990.
Obutu Namur METTE: Cdr, SPLA Commander, Torit region 7/1992.
Richard MULA; Secretary General of the SRRA (1988-1989...) Member SPLM delegation to Nairobi Peace Talks, 8/1994.
Paulino Katip NHIAL: SPLA commander, forces south of Kadugli, South Kordofan, 1992. Peter NYOT; Represented SPLA at inconclusive 8/1994 IGADD peace meetings. Riek group represented by Dhol ACHUIT and Peter SWAN.
William NYON BANY; See above. Born in Ayot, he is older than Garang. Began as an NCO in the Anyanya I. SPLA Chief of Staff; Headed New Funj Batallion in attack on Kurmuk, 10-11/1989. A statement issued by SSIM said it had killed Commander William Nyon who rejoined the mainstream SPLA. It said its forces stormed Nyuon's hideout at Gul in the south on Saturday January 13 and killed him, and other SPLA soldiers, in a 15-minute attack. Nyuon defected from the SPLA in 1991 and was accused of fighting with the government army before he was readmitted to the mainstream SPLA in 1995.
Joseph Oduhu: Southern politician and founder of SPLM. A former regional minister for Southern Sudan. In the 1960s combined with Father Saturnino, Jaden (a Bari), William Deng and Clement Mboro to lead southern political in Khartoum. Head of Political and Foreign Affairs Committee of the SPLA/SPLM, 1984.... His son Casito Omiluk Oduhu, was the SRRA representative (11/198 for Leer and Adok. Killed during an attack by the SPLA on SSIM positions in 1994?
Pierre OHURE; Lutuko, first Secretary General of the SRRA, 1985-...
Roland 'Tiny' ROWLAND; British multimillionaire, LONHRO chief, admitted member of the SPLM since 1984 (admitted in February 1993). Provided planes and assistance to Garang. Said to have been introduced to Garang by US diplomat Robert Frazure (later head of US mission in Ethiopia). Rowland is close to Kenya's president Arap Moi and has substantial holdings in Nairobi.
Moses VIWE; Commander of Abu Shawk battalion and Nuba Mountain Task Force. Launched surprise attack on Malakal, December 1986.
James WANI IGGA; Long time SPLA commander for Central Equatoria; 1986?-1/1990... Warned townspeople that SPLA would begin shelling SPAF garrisons, including Juba, 1/1990.
Laurence WOL; named SPLA Education Affairs Minister following March 1994 SPLA gathering. Daniel KODI Named Minister for environment and tourism affairs, and Arthur QUEEN Minister for human affairs, and Dr. Peter NYOT Minister of legal affairs. SPLA Rep, Nairobi peace conference, 8/1994.
Modi Wurnyang: A Latuka, and former Anyanya I commander, reportedly transferred by SPLA to Southern Kordofan in 1989 during an SPLA effort to reduce tribalism in the rebel ranks.
Justin YAK; Dr., and SPLA captain who with Lam AKOL, and a captain YOR was a member of the SPLA Peace Delegation that was to meet with the government on 4 July 1989. Following SPLA general meeting in March 1994 was named SPLA minister for health portfolio. SPLA Rep, Nairobi peace conference, 8/1994.
خطاب القائد سلفا كيير ميارديت في تأبين الفقيد د. قرنق
pledges commitment to peace accord Saturday 6 August 2005 21:38. Printer-Friendly version Send this article to a friend Destinator : (enter destinator's email address)
From (enter your name)
(enter your email)
JUBA, Aug 6, 2005 (Sudan Tribune) — The new Sudanese first vice-president, Salva Kiir Mayardit, has pledged to remain committed to the pursuit of a comprehensive peace in the country. Speaking in English at the burial of late First Vice-President John Garang, ’ Kiir called on all Sudanese to unite and remain focused on the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Accord.
The new SPLM leader Salva Kiir addresses mourners during the funeral service for late rebel leader and first vice president John Garang in Juba, southern Sudan August 6, 2005.. (Reuters). He went on to call for an end to the conflict in Darfur and pledged to rout Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army rebels from southern Sudan.
The following is an excerpt from Salva Kiir’s speech broadcast live by Sudan TV on 6 August:
Your excellencies, honourable guests, dear compatriots, ladies and gentlemen. This is a very sad day for south Sudan, indeed for the whole of Sudan, for Africa and for the world. John Garang De Mabior was not only the first vice-president of the Sudan and chairman of the SPLM (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement). He was also a world breed of political thinker and freedom fighter.
He was a trailblazer who led a serious life of physical exhaustion and exposure to danger for the sake of our people and for African unity and development.
All the early survival of the founding leadership of the SPLM, no body is more pained and chagrined by the loss of De Mabior than myself. [Words indistinct] A loss to his immediate family and henchmen. Of those who worked close to him or under him [words indistinct] and witnessed by the millions who came out to receive him in Khartoum at the end of July.
Nevertheless, John Garang was not only a political leader but also a man dedicated to his government [words indistinct]. My sister Rebecca [widow of the Garang] [words indistinct] you will never ever be alone. Not only my family and all the families of the SPLM shall be with you. I shall be remiss if I don’t extend my condolences also to the families of my comrades who perished with our leader in that fateful accident as well as to the families of the Ugandan crew.
Hon guests and dear compatriots, as the man who accompanied the late Dr John Garang in his arduous journey and faithfully worked under his command, and also as the man who destiny will for to carry the mantle of power after him, I wish to assure all the sentry that John Garang’s will and vision shall not perish after his departure.
I am sure as day follows night that the torch he has kindled shall never be extinguished, not under my command. [Passage omitted-words indistinct]. I have neither taken over the helm of leadership to redirect the SPLM away from the path raised by our leader and my dear brother and friend John Garang De Mabior nor to redefine its objectives, for redefining the objectives of the SPLM shall be tantamount to fighting them. And if there are still any doubting Thomases, let them hear from me now as I say loud and clear that the SPLM is a vehicle with no reverse gears.
Our first commitment dear compatriots therefore is for the unity of Sudan. Our new basis to be achieved voluntarily through the exercise of the right to self-determination. In this respect, I faithfully commit myself to the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, CPA, both in letter and in spirit. That we do in sincere partnership with the National Congress, a partnership that does not exclude cooperation with other political forces especially those of the NDA. This shall be the only way to achieve the national consensus which Dr Garang so much yearned for.
In the same vein, I shall hold tenaciously to the process of cooperation and good working relationship with president Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir and Vice-President Taha which was initiated by my parting brother John in the very short spell he had in the presidential offices. Smooth relationship within the institution of the presidency shall be key to the successful implementation of the CPA.
Dear compatriots, peace shall not be complete without the extinction of the fires of war in Darfur and eastern Sudan and the realization of the just and fair resolution to the conflicts in both areas.
To that end, I wish to reiterate Dr Garang’s commitment that the SPLM shall continue to use its good offices as well as its power for moral persuasion to expedite the resolution of those conflicts. As my late brother used to say, you cannot have peace in south Sudan, the Nuba Mountains and Southern Blue Nile when war rages in the east and west of Sudan. That is hardly comprehensive peace.
In the same vein, the government of southern Sudan cannot and will not tolerate the presence of the Lords Resistance Army. [Passage omitted]
Dear compatriots, democratic transformation is a cardinal element in comprehensive peace and once again, I reiterate my commitment to the implementation of all clauses in the CPA and the interim constitution that are meant to achieve a democratic transformation in our country.
Further more, my commitment to the socio-economic development of Sudan is no less than that to democratic transformation.
What Dr John Garang has called a paradigm shift in Sudanese economy emanating from the CPA shall be followed and enhanced so that no person shall die of hunger, no child be denied education and no sick person in Sudan shall be deprived of medical care.
Our struggle was above all a struggle to improve the lot of the masses and under my weight, the hopes of the masses shall never be abandoned. And if there is one sentence that I wish to add here is that I shall be implacably tough against corruption and mismanagement or abuse of public assets.
Our people have not suffered for so long in order for a few to illicitly enrich themselves and also, impunity to corruption stains democracy.
Dear compatriots, the tragedy of our leader has strengthened our resolve to remain united as a movement and people. This is the best way the SPLM can honour its fallen hero.
The announcement of the loss of Dr John Garang was followed by unfortunate violent events in Khartoum and other towns. These event do confirm that the country has individuals who still use religion and ethnicity to advocate hate and violence against their own fellow countrymen and women. Such individuals must not be allowed however powerful, to undermine peace and tranquility in our country.
May I therefore while appealing for calm extend my condolences to all those who lost their arms in those riots and my sorrow for those who lost property.
I promise you dear fellow citizens that we have launched full investigation into the circumstances that led to this catastrophe. We shall leave no stone unturned in our determined search for truth and facts surrounding this tragic incident. I therefore appeal to the entire Sudanese nation to have courage in coping with this tragedy.
My grieved fellow citizens, let us turn this invaluable loss to strength and unity; unity of purpose in all what we do in the quest for a new Sudan of democracy, good governance, liberty, freedom, sustained peace and economic development.
Dr Garang had identified earlier that the next phase in our liberation struggle is war against poverty and signs of marginalization in the whole country.
This new voice calls for inclusiveness as a rallying point for our country. I therefore appeal [Passage omitted] within southern Sudan to join me in revitalizing our social capital and restoring peace, stability and prosperity to our beloved land.
To the entire Sudanese nation, let us join hands in making the unity of Sudan attractive through speedy implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. To the friends of the Sudan in general and southern Sudan in particular, let us pay tribute to our fallen leader through full commitment and timely disbursement of pledges you had made at the Oslo donor’s conference of April 2005.
The SPLM shall continue to build itself as a national party which encompasses the whole Sudan from Nimule to Halfa and from Junaynah to Port Sudan and Hamushukreb.
All our beloved leader used to say, accordingly I invite Sudanese all over the country especially women and youth to join the movement in droves.
Dear compatriots, let me before closing express my gratitude to leaders from Africa and the world who took the trouble to share with us our agony right to Juba to bid farewell to our fellow hero. You dear friends are really friends indeed. May I urge you to continue supporting the Sudanese people in consolidating peace and laying the foundation of sustainable development. Many of you were personal friends of the late Dr John Garang and your presence among us this day not only gives us solace, it also gives us courage to continue with his vision and mission.
Your excellencies, honourable guests, dear compatriots, though it is difficult for me to believe that we have lost our leader, in reality, John Garang is now gone. Let there be no uncertainty for uncertainly inflates speculation. The vision of Garang shall never abate and the SPLM struggle which he initiated in 1983 shall continue till our goals are attained. May God Almighty rest his soul in eternal peace and give us strength, wisdom and tolerance in following the footsteps of our fallen hero in the service of our great people. Thank you very much.
صحيفة البرافدا الشوعية الروسية تتحدث عن القائد سلفا كيير ميارديت
Pravda.RU:World:More in detail
Salva Kiir Mayardit to become new VP after John Garang death
20:00 2005-08-02 Salva Kiir Mayardit has been chosen as successor to Sudan's former rebel leader John Garang, following his death in a helicopter crash.
As deputy leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), Mr Kiir had recently been sworn in as vice-president of southern Sudan.
He will now replace Mr Garang as the vice-president of Sudan and president of the south.
Analysts say his nomination by the SPLM signals a clear desire for continuity in the implementation of the peace agreement signed by Mr Garang in January, reports BBC.
The speed with which the SPLM named Salva Kiir as Garang's successor confirms his status as a unifying figure in a group composed of tribes prone to commercial rivalries and harassed by pro-Khartoum militias.
"He's a pragmatic military man, a commander on the ground, who has the personality to bring people together," said Kenyan diplomat Bethuel Kiplagat.
"He's a stabilising influence," said veteran Sudan watcher and aid worker Dan Eiffe. "It's going to be a different style of leadership. It will be more of a group."
Kiir, a military man in his 50s, was appointed on Monday after former rebel leader Garang died when a Ugandan helicopter he was travelling in went down in bad weather.
Analysts say Kiir may bring a more collegial style to the SPLM leadership which Garang had long dominated with a widely-resented, centralised style of decision-making much in evidence during his negotiation of a January peace accord.
"The SPLM is likely to be more unified under Salva and the speed with which he was appointed reflects that," said Horn of Africa expert Alex de Waal.
"Garang was a controversial and not particularly liked figure. Salva is a much more unifying figure."
The SPLM fought a civil war for more autonomy for the largely animist and Christian south for 21 years. Two million people were killed and four million uprooted in the conflict, informs Reuters.
صحيفة الأهرام الأسبوعى، رأيها في القائد سلفا كيير ميارديت
Post-Garang Sudan The death of Sudan's vice president could plunge the country deeper into crisis, writes Gamal Nkrumah
Business as usual seemed to be the message projected by the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) following the death in a helicopter crash on 30 July of its leader John Garang.
"My husband has died but his vision still lives," his widow, Rebecca, told dispirited followers.
Salva Kiir, Garang's long-time associate and the chief of the general staff of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), the armed wing of the SPLM, is Garang's political heir, and clearly means business. But for the political discontent among the southern Sudanese to find a peaceful outlet it is essential the transition of power from Garang to Kiir be smooth. Garang enjoyed a virtually free hand in advancing the interests of the southern Sudanese, though he was careful to champion the rights of all underprivileged Sudanese, be they from the south or north, east or west.
Garang had established a reputation as the defender of the underdog and following news of his death several hundred protestors took to the streets of Khartoum, pillaging shops and destroying cars and property. Government forces deployed armoured vehicles to keep the peace, and the city of five million inhabitants remains under a dawn to dusk curfew.
Many southern Sudanese fear Garang's death will weaken their position in the government of national unity that was inaugurated on 9 July. It is only three weeks ago that Garang was sworn in as first vice president, a position now occupied by his successor, Salva Kiir.
Hopes now rest on Kiir being able to salvage something from the wreckage. "It is essential that the movement holds together and joins the government in Khartoum," urged United Nations Secretary- General Kofi Annan.
But there are growing fears that factional fighting within the SPLM could hinder the movement's ability to advance the southern cause.
Divisions are rife between southern Sudanese factions. Both Garang and his successor, Kiir, are ethnic Dinka, the most numerous of the southern Sudanese ethnic groups, and their dominance has long been resented by smaller groups.
Garang's long-time deputy will face many obstacles in attempting to capitalise on the legacy of his predecessor. According to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed by the Sudanese government and the SPLA, wealth- and power-sharing arrangements will be followed within six years by a referendum in the south to ascertain whether or not the southern Sudanese want to secede.
Although the CPA came about as the result of lengthy negotiations the consensus among Sudan observers is that it is a flawed agreement, not least because there remains considerable confusion over the real objectives of the government in Khartoum.
Sudan's current rulers, including Kiir, are certainly in a position to use the apparatuses of state to ease tensions and focus on development. This would strengthen the centrality of the government's role, though most commentators accept that decentralisation and the devolution of power in Africa's largest state is essential to maintaining stability. Such changes will take time, and need to start immediately.
There are millions of displaced Southern Sudanese refugees, and they have nowhere left to run. It is essential, therefore, a coherent vision of the future of the country emerge in order for the ongoing humanitarian disaster to end. The worst possible scenario is for that strategic vision to become mired in ethnic squabbles.
The ethnic Nuer and Shilluk, who hold sway in the oil-rich Upper Nile province of southern Sudan, are seeking a greater stake in Sudan's new political dispensation. Oil has brought hope to Sudan's war-battered economy, and many southerners hope oil revenues will help fund development and social welfare projects.
It is unlikely that Kiir will follow Garang's lead in becoming embroiled in the peace process in Darfur, or in liaising between the Sudanese government and armed opposition groups in the east of the country. He will have his hands full bringing the disparate southern Sudanese factions together.
All eyes are on Kiir now. In the past he has consistently confounded sceptics, though his detractors claim he is at heart, and in sharp contrast to Garang, a secessionist and a Dinka nationalist.
Whether he will be able to build a strong, unified southern Sudanese front is far from certain -- a decade of moves in that direction have yet to show results. Many southern factions remain outside the framework of the SPLM/SPLA, and they have been notoriously resistant to compromise. Yet it is compromise that is needed now more than ever.
The Sudanese opposition is divided between the liberal left and religious right and both will attempt to make political capital out of Garang's death. Indeed Hassan Al-Turabi, Sudan's leading Islamist ideologue, has already accused the Sudanese government of having a hand in the helicopter crash in which Garang died.
Will Kiir succeed in uniting southern Sudanese opposition forces under the SPLM's wing? Ultimately, it is the answer to this question that will determine the future of Sudan. The answer, though, is far from clear, which means there is no end yet in sight to Sudan's turbulent recent history. (see obituary p.9)