Article from ROAPE Volume 32 Number 106
John Garang's Legacy to Peace Process, SPLM/A & South
The death of Dr. John Garang, First Vice President of Sudan, President of Southern Sudan, and Chairman of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) in a helicopter crash on 30 July, and the riots that followed, produced doubts about the viability of the 9 January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and the prospects of peace processes underway elsewhere in the country. On the surface, this is not surprising because Garang had been the leader of the SPLM/A since its founding in 1983 and for many in Sudan and abroad he virtually personified the struggle of the south. Garang was also the unchallenged focal point during the various peace processes, in particular during the final phase of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) negotiations which were largely reduced to then First Vice President Ali Osman Taha and himself. And more than anyone else on either side of the table, Garang was the biggest beneficiary of the peace process which granted him a virtual hegemonic position in the south and the holding of a strong vice presidency nationally.