In the Sudan, questions remain about death of southern leader John Garang
publication date: Apr 23, 2010
A top-level official of the government of the Sudan told WMR that although an official inquiry concluded that the crash of an Mi-172 helicopter carrying Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) leader John Garang back to southern Sudan from a meeting with Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni in late July 2005 was an accident due to bad weather, there are significant questions about the circumstances of the crash.
As southern Sudan prepares to vote for a referendum next year on secession from Sudan, a referendum that is all but certain to be approved, according to Khartoum officials, a new inquiry into Garang's death by southern Sudan's independent government may conclude the crash of the founding father of southern Sudan was an assassination.
Garang had been returning from a meeting at the ranch of his friend and long-time ally Museveni at the Ugandan president's ranch at Rwakitura when the helicopter crashed.
WMR has learned that Garang's widow and son do not believe the crash was fully investigated. In addition, there is new evidence that the helicopter was changed on Garang at the last minute since the presidential helicopter that Museveni reportedly lent to Garang for his trip back to Sudan was not the same as the helicopter that crashed. The engine numbers on the helicopter that crashed were found to be different from the numbers on Museveni's Mi-172 chopper.
The engine number discrepancy was cited in the preliminary official report on the investigation of the crash. The SPLM leadership accepted the final conclusion of the investigation that Garang's helicopter crashed due to bad weather.
In addition, there were bodies found on board the crashed chopper that should not have been on board.
There are a number of southern Sudanese who are unconvinced that Garang died from an accident. Museveni did claim that "external forces" may have been involved in the helicopter's crash, however, some in southern Sudan believe that Museveni may have known more about the death of his "friend" than he was willing to admit. A top-level Sudanese government source said, "in politics, anything is possible."
The government of an independent southern Sudan "will be open to challenging information" on the crash, according to an SPLM source.
From WMR August 20, 2007: "The Sudan newspaper Akhbar Alyoum, in an interview with Sudan's Minister of State for the Interior Aleu Ayeni Aleu published on August 14, reveals evidence that former Sudanese First Vice President John Garang was assassinated.
Aleu states in the interview that Garang did not die in Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's personal helicopter but in military helicopter Garang boarded at Entebbe airport. Garang's switch to the military chopper was reportedly made at the last minute. Garang's widow, Rebecca Naradeng, has said she believes he husband was murdered.
Aleu was a member of an international team, including Americans, that investigated the crash. In a published report, the team ruled the crash an 'accident.' Even Museveni has claimed he doubts Garang died in an accident. Moscow-based experts revealed the crashed helicopter's specifications did not match those of Museveni's private helicopter.
Aleu provided technical details to support his claim of an assassination and cover-up. He said the machine numbers of the downed chopper were not compatible with the presidential chopper number and that 'number AF, 605 differs from the presidential number’s main rotor burp 8-1930-000821-5387.' Aleu also stated the pilot's assistant, according to the air craft's flight recorder, appeared unsure of the plane’s details. 'Sometimes he said UK747 [instead of UK757]. The other plane was holding number ATCO-AF-605118:2. The plane that had crashed does not hold number 096112 (1997 Russian 02/07/05)'.
On August 1, 2005, WMR reported that the July 2005 helicopter crash that killed longtime Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) leader and newly-installed Sudanese Vice President John Garang was no accident but an assassination.
WMR reported, 'Garang's death in one of [Ugandan President Yoweri] Museveni's helicopters may presage the fracture of Sudan and that will be a boon for U.S. oil companies and British and Israeli gold and diamond miners.The trend is unmistakable. War crimes are being committed in Africa every day and Washington, London, and Tel Aviv rake in abominable profits.
Garang's helicopter crashed after it departed Museveni's ranch at Rwakitura, about 200 miles southwest of Kampala, near the Rwandan border. Garang was on his way back to New Site, his base in southern Sudan, after meeting with Museveni. Abdel Wahed Mohammed Ahmed Nur, the leader of the Darfur-based Sudan Liberation Movement/Army, a group allied with Garang's SPLM/A, said that Garang's helicopter death 'was the result of a big conspiracy against the Sudanese people... Personally, I don’t believe in an accident.'"
Garang's death followed a stormy meeting between him, Museveni, and the American, British, and Dutch ambassadors over oil just prior to his return to Sudan and his helicopter crash en route. On September 16, 2005, WMR reported, ". . . the most dramatic revelation is that present at Garang's meeting with Museveni were the ambassadors of the United States and the Netherlands and the British High Commissioner to Uganda. These three nations are involved, through Royal Dutch Shell and other oil companies, in exploration in the Great Lakes Region.
U.S. ambassador Jimmy Kolker, a graduate of Carleton College in Minnesota, has facilitated a close relationship between Museveni and Minnesota Republican Senator Norm Coleman (who won his Senate seat largely as a result of the plane crash that killed Senator Paul Wellstone).Britain's High Commissioner Francois Gordon is a former counselor in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Joke Brandt, the Dutch ambassador, is affiliated with the globalist Netherlands Institute for International Relations ('Clingendael'). There are reports that Garang argued with Museveni and the Western ambassadors over oil and mineral exploration rights in his southern Sudan area, as well as Sudan in general. Garang was no pushover for the Museveni and the American, British, and Dutch envoys. With a PhD in economics, Garang understood the worth of Sudan's natural resources and what was a equitable for his people. And as a graduate of the Commander's course at Fort Benning, Georgia, Garang was also familiar with the connections between U.S. and British covert and overt special forces in the region and the oil companies and mining firms. For Garang, having that kind of knowledge may have earned him a death sentence.'