Tripoli- Libya (PANA) -- The death of John Garang in a helicopter crash has robbed Sudan, a member of the Community of Sahel- Saharan States (CEN-SAD), of one of its greatest peace builders, the Tripoli-based organisation said in a condolence message.
In the statement issued to PANA here on Monday, the CEN-SAD secretariat general expressed "deep sadness and consternation" on hearing the death of Garang, the first Sudanese vice-president in a tragic helicopter crash last Saturday night.
"The CEN-SAD Community, which shares this pain with the Sudanese people, has lost one of the greatest peace builders in Sudan who, since the peace agreement was signed in Nairobi, Kenya, on 9 January, had totally relinquished his status of rebel leader to resolutely commit himself to peace and security building, in accordance with the commitments he freely made," reads part of the statement.
CEN-SAD called for the continuation and consolidation of John Garang's "historical" work in Sudan to enable it to fully play its role within CEN-SAD.
The statement also urged the international community to support the Sudanese government and people in their efforts to achieve national reconciliation and reinforce the ongoing peace process that everybody wants to be irreversible.
John Garang died Saturday night when the helicopter that was flying him from Uganda to New Site in southern Sudan crashed.
Garang was returning from talks with the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni when the accident occurred.
Garang, former leader of the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), signed a global peace deal with President Omar Hassan El Bashir's government in Nairobi, Kenya last January.
The agreement ended a 21-year old civil war in southern Sudan.
As part of the agreement, the former rebel leader was appointed first vice-president on 9 July.