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Press release

UNICEF joins Sudan in mourning John Garang

Urges Implementation of Peace Agreement for All Sudan’s Children

NEW YORK, 1 August 2005 – UNICEF today joined the people and Government of Sudan in mourning the loss of Dr. John Garang, First Vice President of the Republic of Sudan, following the announcement early Monday of his death in a helicopter crash.

"It is a cruel irony that after decades of war, and only weeks after Garang was sworn in as First Vice President, Sudan should be robbed of one of the architects of its historic peace agreement" said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Rima Salah, who represented UNICEF at the peace agreement signing and spoke with Dr. Garang.

UNICEF urged all parties in Sudan to continue with implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and to pursue every opportunity for peace in Darfur and eastern Sudan, especially for children. 

UNICEF joined UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the Secretary-General's Special Representative to Sudan in affirming its full commitment to supporting the Government of National Unity, led by President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, as well as the Government of Southern Sudan, in this difficult time. 

“Peace offers enormous benefits, especially for children,” said UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman. “For the children of Sudan we hope that the peace process continues with optimism.”

UNICEF noted the contribution of Garang to the establishment in 1989 of “Operation Lifeline Sudan,” a major international relief effort based on a then-groundbreaking humanitarian access agreement that enabled aid to reach war-affected civilians, particularly in southern Sudan.

As one of the three signatories to the OLS agreement along with President al-Bashir, Garang helped set a new precedent for humanitarian access during civil war.  Former UNICEF Executive Director James Grant brokered the OLS agreement on behalf of the United Nations, under whose provisions millions of people have been served with life-saving relief since April 1989.

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For further information, please contact:

Gordon Weiss, UNICEF Media, NY (+1 212) 326-7426




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