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Sudanese president receive final report on Garang’s death

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A Sudanese woman wails as the casket with the remains of John Garang is carried by a Sudanese Army detachment at the airport in Juba, southern Sudan for the burial. Garang died in a helicopter crash.

April 4, 2006 (KHARTOUM) — Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has received the final report of an investigation into the death in a helicopter crash of the leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, John Garang, on 30 July 2005, in southern Sudan.

The rapporteur in the national committee and member of the international team, Ambassador Siraj Eddin Hamid in a press statement broadcasted by the Sudanese TV largely blamed pilot error for the crash.

According to Hamid, the report concludes that the pilot had not read his route carefully before takeoff. He said poor planning before the trip was one of the causes of the crash. He also, mentioned the pilot’s lack of knowledge of the mountainous terrain, he was flying at 5,300 ft while there was a mountain that was 6,000ft high. The report says that bad weather also contributed crash.

Hamid told the press that the full report would be published next week after the formal adoption in Kampala.

John Garang, died on his way to southern Sudan from Uganda after paying a visit to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. He died in a Ugandan presidential helicopter when it crashed in southern Sudan on July 30, 2005.

His death fuelled suspicions among southerners that the northern government would not honour the deal signed last year, which enshrines power and wealth-sharing, a coalition government and a referendum on secession in six years.

(ST)

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