The United Nations has announced that the Sudanese Vice President John Garang has been killed in a helicopter crash while returning from a visit to Uganda.
Rudi Muller, the head of the UN’s humanitarian affairs program in southern Sudan, said he had been told of the death by the governor of Lake State in southern Sudan.
Garang , a former rebel leader, was returning from Uganda to southern Sudan after meeting Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
Garang was regarded as crucial to the future of Sudan’s peace process.
A 21-year civil war between the Islamist government and the mainly Christian and animist south ended in January with a historic peace deal.
Garang was handed the vice presidency in a move designed to bring the rebels into government. He took office at the beginning of July.