International Rescue Committee (IRC)

IRC Statement on Tragic Death of Sudanese First Vice President John Garang

The International Rescue Committee, which has been providing humanitarian assistance in Sudan for more than two decades, is deeply distressed over the death of Dr. John Garang, the head of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and the newly inaugurated First Vice-President of the country.

Garang, killed in a helicopter crash over the weekend, was a critical leader in forging the peace agreement signed in January 2005, which ended the brutal 21-year north-south civil war in Sudan.

“It’s vital that this tragic event not damage the peace process, nor undermine the positive developments toward peace so far undertaken by the two sides,” said George Rupp, who met with Garang in May while on a trip to Sudan with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. 

Patty Swahn, the IRC’s regional director for East Africa and the Horn said, “The best way for the two parties and the international community to honor Dr. Garang is to redouble their support for the Sudanese in their desire for lasting peace after so many years of war.”

The International Rescue Committee will continue its work with war-affected Sudanese across the country, to support their recovery, meet urgent needs, improve basic services, strengthen communities and civil society and promote human rights.