How will the death of Sudan's vice-president, John Garang, affect the country's peace process?
Heavily-armed troops are patrolling the streets of Sudan's capital, Khartoum after 36 people died in riots.
The BBC's Jonah Fisher in Khartoum says many of the southern Sudanese living in Khartoum hoped Mr Garang would change their lives and end discrimination in favour of Arabs and are now venting their frustration at his death.
The Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir, said he was determined to continue the peace process in which John Garang had played such a central role, ending more than twenty years of civil war.
What is your reaction to the death of John Garang? Who will continue his work? Can the peace agreement remain on course?
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:
The United Nations and other international bodies as well as the Sudanese government should make sure that peace is restored in all parts of the country and alert the southerners that the death of John Garang shouldn't trigger past events of tension and disputes.
Abdullahi, Dubai, UAE
The people of Southern Sudan, and indeed Africa, have lost a great man. Dr Garang was brilliant, articulate and very knowledgeable about issues affecting his people. The dream he fought for should be realised by the new leadership. May the people of Southern Sudan keep the legacy.
Marsh, Nairobi, Kenya
Let this be the time for al-Bashir to show us that he is an honest man, to whatever extent he can. Let the Sudanese be united. Having lived in Ethiopia, with a large Southern Sudanese refugee presence, I feel very strongly in their loss. But let us focus on the positive, the peace deal is in ink. Let us just hope and pray that it will be upheld, regardless.
For me, John Garang epitomizes the struggle for freedom associated with minorities in the Arab world especially Christians and Coptics. Here is a region where violence and anarchy are aesthetically etched on the landscape. I do not see any hope in this tragedy because the people of northern Sudan do not see injustice in their actions against the minorities but are quick to accuse the west. Intolerance of other people's faith and beliefs must wane for peace and stability; and this would not be too much to ask from the Khartoum government for the sake of Garang and his beleaguered people.
Ernest Opara, Lagos, Nigeria
Garang was a great man who would have brought total peace in the south and would have also reduced the division between the north and south. The peace agreement will remain on course although some hiccups here and there will be witnessed. This requires commitment on both sides.
Okot Daniel, Kampala, Uganda
A great hero. As Africans, we pray that God will help the Sudanese government to continue with what he had started. He fought a difficult battle and we hope his effort will not be watered. Loving father, many will miss you. May his soul rest in peace.
Mercy Nkirote, Nairobi, Kenya
I couldn't believe my ears when I heard the death of that hero, who sacrificed all his life for the south Sudanese people and the future of Sudan. I hope his followers will make his dreams true. May God rest his soul in peace and send peace for that country.
Wanofi, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Sad moment for Africa and Sudan, more so the southern part of Sudan. All hopes for reconciliation and peace in Sudan had been raised from the time he was sworn in as VP. We pray for continued peace and unity in Sudan and the whole of Africa.
Ednar Ruhweza, London based Ugandan
I convey my condolences to his family and to the Sudanese people, his loss represents a great disappointment and a huge challenge to peaceful, democratic, heterogeneous Sudan. We will miss a person like him, a person who was able to change some of stereotypical Sudanese political sense. I appreciate the commitment of parties involved to go on implementing the peace deal, I hope that riots will not have deep negative impacts on fellow Sudanese.
Basheer Suliman, Prague, Czech Republic
Unless a miracle takes place, there is eminent danger for the hard-earned peace for Sudan, as Garang was a key player in the entire peace process.
Edward Kwemi, Monrovia, Liberia
John Garang was indeed a leader who dared to dream for his people, fight for it and won it but his time for this life was cut short. His vision will continue to live.
Sam Daimai, Shillong, India
The ship has sunk just moments before docking. I hope SPLM and the government will not be discouraged from pursuing the peace that Garang and his lieutenants have fought for for over a decade.
Martin Owiny, Nairobi, Kenya
Let us comfort one another with the knowledge that he died a fulfilled man, having seen the beginnings of the peace that he fought for all his life. Our brothers and sisters in the Sudan, do not destroy his legacy, but build on the strong foundation that he left you.
Asiimwe Ndiira, Kampala, Uganda
Garang's death is a great loss to the Sudanese people, especially the southerners. May the almighty God accept his soul in peace. Let those rioters in Khartoum and elsewhere not bring the same situation that happen in Rwanda in 1994. People have to be calm and continue with the current agreement.
Justin Demetry, Sudanese in Canada
My heart is heavy with sorrow at the loss of such a brave statesman who fought endlessly for the rights of his people. I am not sure South Sudan will find another as intelligent as he was but our good Lord will help the Sudanese through this.
Dan Nyutu, Nicosia, Cyprus
A life of purpose and meaning, vision and depth to fulfil his purpose and give hope to a bloodied nation - that was John Garang. The best send off his people can give him is to honour the peace deal and live to build their future and protect it.
Dr Garang was one out of millions of Africans with a difference; he is a man with dignity and loves his mother land. Africa has once again lost a great son and his death is a big blow to the African continent. May his soul rest in peace.
Wurra Bah, Bakau
The great man is gone but I would like people of Sudan to continue to be together and maintain peace. Almost all Africans have been shocked about the death. May his soul rest in peace.
Camillus Nambombi, Mtwara, Tanzania
Garang was the only hope for New Sudan, his death was shock for all Africans, and I hope the people of Sudan keep him alive by keeping his vision alive.
Joe Hassan, Auckland
As a Sudanese living in the US as a refugee, I am frustrated by the recent events. As a member of SPLA, I am confident there is no peace. Signatures on papers in Africa do not constitute peace. Without him, Africans in Sudan will continue to suffer.
Lual Dut, Syracuse, USA
We know that the loss of our 'master key' is really a blow to us. We must show dignity for our late leader and the struggle of freedom he claimed for us. Let us live for the future not the past. Our future started with Dr Garang and we will forever remember him deep in the generation. Long live the unity of Southerners, and long live the memory of John Garang.
Bul, Washington, USA
Here is a man who left university with a PhD and dug a trench with the Southern Sudanese liberation and led his people to prominence, power and a more promising future with charisma and vision. Few people can understand this circumstance. His struggle is to be admired.
Jonathan Seleshi, Los Angeles, United States
As an alumnus of Iowa State University, I mourn the loss of one of our most influential graduates. Peace be to Sudan and may Dr Garang's followers carry on his mission.
Megan Myers, Twin Falls, Idaho
It's sad that Dr Garang did not live to enjoy the peace and equality he fought decades for. A rebel turned diplomat then a statesman. May peace dwell in Sudan. Rest in Peace Dr John Garang de Mabior.
Samuel Gathagu Munyigi, Nairobi
Having worked in South Sudan and seen what the people of South Sudan have been undergoing, it saddens me deep into my heart to learn of the sudden demise of such a committed man in the liberation of the lives of people in Sudan.
Kariuki Gakuru, Doncaster
My condolences to the people of Sudan, especially the Southerners who had depended on his leadership for so long. May God give your new leaders wisdom and vision to keep the dream of a peaceful and prosperous Sudan even in this time of turmoil.
Wairimu Kuria, Kenyan in US
John Garang had done his part. The remaining part is ours. Let's not mourn without hope.
Daniel Majok Gai, Sudanese living in Denver, CO USA
The death of Dr John Garang is a major setback for peace in Sudan. My fear is that the country will return back to war since there is no one fit for his replacement who can carry on his ideology of uniting Sudan.
Pal Gatkuoth Deng, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
John Garang has passed away from our physical world. But this is only a transformation of his life. His spirit still lives around us and is imbedded in all people who seek truth, justice and hope for the marginalised. That struggle shall continue as we all advocate the vision he brought forward to this physical world.
Godfrey Ladu, Melbourne, Australia
This has got to be the most unfortunate thing to happen to Africa this year. In Garang we've lost a gentleman and a scholar, a person who went beyond the call of duty to achieve peace for his people. May the Almighty God rest him in eternal peace.
Victor Kuria, Kenyan living in Oklahoma City, USA
This is the worst possible thing that could happen in Sudan now. Garang was truly the father of peace - and it will be a major test for the Sudanese and the international community to see that Garang's life work takes the nation from its shaky-legs to stability and peace. I hope that the fear and anger over his death will energize the Sudanese for the long-hard road toward a strong and unified future.
Natalie Topa, Alexandria, Virginia, USA
This indeed is a great loss, not only to Sudan but to the whole African continent. Dr. Garang's death is a set back in the entire development process of Sudan, especially with the reported riots in Southern Sudan. My most sincere condolences to the people of Sudan. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
Simon Rwabyoma, Uganda
What a sad day for Africa and more so for our dear brothers and sisters in Southern Sudan. I hope this event inspires the people to protect and enhance what they have worked so hard with Garang to make. Unity will remain the key. Do not be deterred!
Dorcas Muthoni, Kenya
Sudan has lost a visionary leader, one who was able to keep and articulate the aspirations of the people of South Sudan together. It is a pair of shoes that will be impossible to fill. Rest in peace, Garang.
The death of Garang has put the prospect of peace in Sudan to the real test. Let us hope that the two sides will work to keep the peace process on course.
Sabiti Makara, Kampala, Uganda
It is a sad day for the people of South Sudan. At a time when many were preparing to return home to peace - to a new Sudan - this is indeed a staggering blow.
Ameyo Were, Kenya
If the Bashir government is sincere enough in locating and doing business with another SPLA/M leader of Dr John Garang's calibre and charisma, then, of course, there is a certain chance for lasting peace. But, perhaps, more importantly, the Arabized population of Northern Sudan need to be psychologically modernized and enlightened in order to meliorate ethnic, religious and racial discrimination. The preceding also implies that Omar al-Bashir's Sudan must rapidly democratize its government and the country. And on the latter score, much help would be needed from both the African Union and the West. Short of the preceding, one sees no viable chance for peace and security in Sudan, our hopes and fervent prayers notwithstanding.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe Jr, Bronx, New York, USA
A truly tragic event for Africa and especially for the whole of the horn region. He was an emblem of peace. He has fought with dignity for the freedom and equality of his fellow countrymen, equally he has shown the world he can sit and end a long civil war in civility. Let us all hail him for his deeds and pray for him so that his soul rests in peace.
Fasil Merawi, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Dr John as we always call him will be remembered in history as one of the greatest African revolutionary fighters who truly fought for the democratic rights of people. This is the moment of truth for Sudan government of El Bashir to immediately announce concrete commitments to the fragile peace process and to uphold all agreements signed with SPLA.
Francis Okello, Swindon, UK
I return yesterday from a brief visit to my home land and what I saw amazed me (I was last in Khartoum in early January 2005. John Garang, love him or hate him, brought hope and sense to the country.
Lubna Karim, Sudani living in Saudi
We have lost a great man. My thoughts go to his family and the Sudanese people. I hope this loss won't derail the peace process he initiated.
Karim Basse, PA, USA
Everybody has to meet their maker one day but Dr Garang's passing and especially its timing is so desperately tragic. One can only hope that what he achieved in his final days will survive his demise but it is likely to be very tough. This is a hammer-blow for the people of Sudan and the region.
Joe Kabyemela, Wirral, England
Today, Africa has lost one of her brightest sons, and I am sure that all the African people with open minds will be saddened by this loss. Without exception, all the African people and leaders should support the peace agreement signed by John Garang and the Sudanese Government.
Barreh Bouh Wais, Toronto, Canada, originally from East Africa
Unbelievable, I can't imagine it, I can't come to terms with it. Not at this time, we all needed him not only for the peace of southern Sudan, but also for the stability of the whole region. This is the saddest day ever.
Brian Kigunga, Muranga, Kenya
When I heard of the death of John Garang, I felt pained. There was hope for southern Sudanese with John Garang as vice president. It was an opportunity to see smiles of peace once again for the people of Sudan who have known nothing other than war. It may take a while but I believe things will be better again. He would have love peace to reign, just as his wife has said.
Unoma Madunagu, Calabar, Nigeria
I can only say that God works in miraculous ways, for why should Garang die at this time when peace is just being realised? On the other hand, shouldn't we all be grateful that he came this far, having been exposed to death for the last several decades? We pray that his dream will live on and that there will be no more bloodshed in Southern Sudan.
Lucy Nyambura, Mombasa, Kenya
Mr. Garang literally took his people to the 'promised land'. He did a great job in his time. I hope his followers will show the same strength and statesmanship to ensure that Mr. John Garang did not die in vain. Rest in Peace!
Kofi Ellison, USA via Asuonwun, Ghana
The people of Sudan, and Africa in general have high regard for Mr Garang and his dream for peace in the Sudan. To honour him we should make his dream come true. His life's battle should not be wasted by forgetting the good he fought for and achieved
Elias Mitoko, Nairobi, Kenya
In the name of peace, my fellow comrades. Let us stand united in this tragic moment that shock the base and foundations of our hopes and aspirations for peace for our country the Sudan. Let us not give chance for violence, guns and oppression to rule us again even when our frontline hero (Garang) has fallen in the struggle to free us totally from it all. He was a man who lived his cause and vision and died pursuing it. Garang died just three weeks into that path of the peace we all longed for, for the last 21 years. Let us stand firm to carry the banner he left for us to carry on with dignity and honour for the whole Sudan. May God grand him favours and may God bless Sudan in this moment.
Taban Alex Donato, Sudanese in ACT Australia
It is indeed a sad day for Africa as a whole. Garang will take his rightful place in the continent's history books side by side with people like Mandela, Kenyatta, Nyerere and Ben Bella. We all pray for the peace agreement to hold.
Tom Osanjo, Nairobi, Kenya
Whatever the reason for his death, he has shown the road for peace and the blue print is there for people to follow. He passed away after achieving what he had been striving for. May God rest his soul in peace.
Gashaw, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
He was the leader in the struggle against the Sudan Islamic government's injustices, discrimination, abuse, exploitation, racism and enslavement of the people of Southern Sudan. Now that he is gone we hope the SPLM leadership will continue to see the complete liberation of our people. May his soul rest in peace
Garang, a name always to be remembered as a symbol and an inspiration to all the up coming generations who suffer the injustice of the unfair ruling systems. John, may your legacy continue on until your dream of freedom is achieved.
Kareem Makram, Cairo, Egypt
May his sould rest in peace and the next line of command to work for Mr.Garang's lifetime ambitions. Let the prosperity embrace the whole of Sudan - a nice country and nice people.
S Mohan, Khartoum
Garang was surely a great man. His life's mission is over and accomplished - namely, to restore the dignity and freedom of his people. As we observe with pain and sorrow the passing of a great African, let us always remember what he lived and died for and make sure we continue what he started.
Muwanga Patrick, Kampala, Uganda
This is a bad news for Sudanese however let's take consolation in the fact that he became a peace maker before dying .May he rest in the Lord's bosom. Amen.
Michael Sam, Accra-Ghana
He cherished justice for all the Sudanese, unfortunately he could not live to see his vision a reality. He was truly one of the greatest leaders in East Africa. Sharp, hardworking and humble. My heart and thoughts are with the people of South Sudan!
Wilson Kaikai, Leipzig, Germany
A great man, great leader, high vision for Southern Sudan and Sudan in general, we shall miss you Doctor.
Besigiroha Moses, Kampala - Uganda
Sad his death had to be at the time when Southerners needed him most. I pray that God gives Salva Kiir and the other deputies wisdom to carry forward the noble aspirations of Garang and that the peace process is not disrupted. May Garang's soul rest in peace
Kieti John, Nairobi - Kenya
It was with great shock that I learnt of Dr. Garang's death. My condolences to his family and people of Sudan. May the Lord especially comfort his family and friends at this sad moment. I pray that peace prevails in Sudan.
Julie Eve Acan, Kampala, Uganda
It's sad to learn about the death of a great leader who carried the hopes of many not only in Sudan but Africa and all peace lovers of the world. Let's keep our fingers crossed that people should have faith in whoever takes over, will have same vigour and determination to leader the miserable people of southern Sudan into peace and prosperity. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
Wakhata Alfred Lutwetwe, India
The world (UN) must put pressure on the current Sudanese government to honour the peace deal regardless of Garang's death.
Newton Wanyoike, Houston, Texas
Great loss to all peoples of Sudan. However, Sudan and other countries in Africa should work through institutions and not individuals however great and with vision and foresight as Dr. John Garang has been.
Alsir Hassan Fadl, Khartoum, Sudan
Garang has died at a time when the Sudanese people need him more than before. We hope that in his death the Sudanese people will find a way and solutions to there problem.
Gilbert H. Owinga, Nairobi, Kenya
My condolences to the People of Southern Sudan and the entire nation of Sudan for the loss of the great Man as Garang. For SPLA members and all Sudanese, to remind you that you should keep him alive by following his steps and continuing his unfinished work. May his Soul Rest In Peace.
Jean-Claude Kabagema, Almere/The Netherlands
Mr.Garang was intelligent in signing the peace treaty bringing unity to Sudan. His demise is a great loss to the country especially to the people in the south.
Herman Fraser, New Amsterdam,Guyana
I think John Garang did a lot for his country and so he will be remembered for the vital role he played in unifying the North and South of the Sudan. In this time of grief, it is my prayer that the peace deal remains on hold so that the good people of Sudan can enjoy the calm that the man Garang fought for. This, in my opinion would be a lasting tribute to the great man. May the good Lord give him a peaceful rest!
Abaane Robert, Tamale, Ghana
A leader, a democrat, a true believer in justice for all. Dr John Garang fought hard for his people, Africa has lost one of its greatest sons, may God rest his soul.
Jess M, Nairobi, Kenya
It was with disturbing shock when the sad news came to fore this morning. I pity the people of S. Sudan. He was a hero, a 'Mandela' in his own right. We all thought hope had come to the region after the peace deal. I hope there will be no spill over effect to the Somali Peace Pact. May his principles continue to be cherished. I hope there was no foul play. The world must solidifying its efforts in helping the region by rallying its support for Salva Kiir. God Bless Sudan.
Robert Shaita Athewa, Nairobi, Kenya
Dr Garang was an outstanding personality who made the most of the days allotted for him on earth. May God rest his soul in peace.
It is with sadness that I learnt of the death of John Garang, this morning. Coming shortly after the peace deal, and his inauguration as Vice-President of The Sudan, it has shattered my hopes for an end to the people's suffering. It was magnanimity that Mr Garang displayed in decisively switching roles and leading the country to peace. Yes, atrocities committed by both sides, in the protracted conflict. There was a time of war in The Sudan, then a time of peace. A time of happiness, now a time of sorrow, a time to mourn John Garang. Black Africa will miss John Garang, and for his quest for peace, may his soul rest in eternal peace.
Thabani Bafanah, Cambridge, UK
The atmosphere in the city is not one of hope and it s difficult to be optimistic about the peace protest when things can deteriorate so fast. If anything the death of John Garang has shown how superficial any progress has been.
Leila Latif, Currently in Khartoum, Sudan but I live in London, England.
The death of John Garang is very sad news for a country that was just on the brink of a lasting peace after over two decades of civil war. What now for the peace process? Can someone come forward and show leadership, and ensure that peace continues and that the Southern Sudanese continue to share in the governance of the country? As we've already heard, there is widespread rioting and looting in the capital city. I hope that Sudan can come through yet another crisis without more bloodshed or political wrangling.
Dina Gillespie, London, UK
The death of Dr Garang is a great shock for all Sudanese at it might put the peace agreement on the edge of ruin. Mr. Garand has been a national icon for the Sudanese people and I hope we will all continue what he has started.
Abubakr Mohamed, Khartoum
Africa and Sudan in particular has lost a leader and a true champion of the oppressed. It is a pity that Dr. Garang could not live longer to see the fruits of his sweat, but I believe and trust that his death will not only unite the Sudanese but also Africa as a whole. It's my prayer that whoever takes over as SPLM leader will fit in Dr. Garang shoes and steer the peace process further, so that there could be no more senseless killing in Sudan. May his soul rest in peace.
Robert Kiptoo Yator, Nairobi, Kenya
A great man with a great vision, who would have done great things for Sudan. But I am sure the people of this country will continue what he has started.
Anoop, Khartoum, Sudan
The region has lost a hero and a peace icon. May the Lord rest his soul in eternal peace
Harrison Mburu, Nairobi, Kenya
It's so sad that actually Mr Garang did die though he will still remain a hero as far as the Sudanese people are concerned and may he rest in peace. We all hope and wish that peace will still remain in Sudan, thank you.
John Garang was a rare breed of the emerging leadership in the new Africa. He has been able to restore dignity in a people so long taken for granted. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
Gilliard Nkini, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
May Almighty God give the Sudanese people strength in this our of mourning and hold their newly found peace together. God keep my brother's soul in eternal peace.
Francis Kamau Kahiu, Kenya, Mombasa
My condolences to the People of Southern Sudan and the entire nation of Sudan for the loss of a charismatic leader who started the work of uniting Sudan, may His soul rest in peace.
Y Mvula, Blantyre, Malawi
Condolences to his wife and family. To the people of the south, and the people of the north. I hope his death and those of his friends and crew will not further divide us, and bring violence, but mobilize us to uphold and ratify the peace agreement.
Lina Elbadawi, El Obeid, Sudan
It's really a great lost for us the people of southern Sudan. We are still at the beginning of the new situation and suddenly, we lose the backbone of our country. My condolences and may the Lord give us strength and courage.
Rejoice, Sudan, Khartoum
Garang - Shocking, and suspicious death of a great man and leader.
It is a big loss to all the peace lovers. Condolence to his family and the Southern Sudan people. I pray for a peaceful succession and a continuation of the genuine peace process. May His Soul Rest in Peace
Kalule Okello David, Kampala, Uganda
The loss of Garang should be the greatest price all South Sudanese should ever pay for peace in this part of the world. Now that it has happened let all carry on and bring his vision to maturity.
Fred Maguma, Nairobi Kenya
It is very sad to lose someone like John Garang at this time, when he has done so much for his country. The only request I can make to the people of Sudan is to carry on with his vision. Please don't let him down. May God rest his soul in eternal peace.
Regina Wangari, Kenya
It is the ultimate paradox of life, that a man who spent over two decades fighting to have his people's rights secured should die so soon after beginning the critical stage of making peace in Sudan real. Sudan (North and South) shall do justice to John de Mabior Garang's legacy if they keep the new peace arrangement intact, and grow it. It has taken human lives and lots of years to get to where they have reached. John Garang's contribution cannot be gainsaid, and that (his contribution and personal commitment towards peace) in itself is a good enough reason not to back track on the peace process.
Kenneth Muchina, Nairobi, Kenya
It's a sad day for the black people of Sudan and the rest of Africa. He single-handedly kept the hopes of the black Africans in Sudan alive and though he had his weaknesses, his achievements far outweigh those weaknesses, this son of Africa will be remembered as a true fighter for his people and their hopes, an inspiration to most of us Africans that where there is a will there is a way and that a journey of thousand miles starts with a single step. He showed us that life without a battle is life without victory.
Timothy Kumbukeni Sukali, London, England
This is a big blow to the people of Southern Sudan.
Denis Kiggwe, Kampala, Uganda
Africa has lost yet another of her gallant sons. Death has taken away a fountain of hope, a man whose leadership and military skills were legendary. Fare thee well comrade De Mabior. My condolences to the people of Southern Sudan; we shall overcome!
Wangenge Ouma, Cape Town, South Africa
John Garang gave his southern Sudanese people the dignity they had been denied through a combination of charisma and military prowess on the battle field. As a Kenyan, I have received his demise with profound shock and sorrow. I hope that Garang's dream for the freedom of his southern Sudanese people does not perish with his unexpected death.
Eric Otiende, Denver, Colorado, USA
May the Lord Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth comfort the Garang family and the people of Sudan for this great and sudden loss. May peace that surpasses all understanding prevail in South Sudan and the entire nation of Sudan! Our prayers are with you all!
Warigia Razia, Nairobi, Kenya
It is indeed very sad for an individual committed to upholding the rights of the minority especially at a time when they have just struck a peace deal and the future prospects were all shiny. God rest his soul in peace and may peace continue to prevail
Eric Mgendi, Nairobi, Kenya
Here was a great man, who spent his life trying to find peace for Sudan, a dream that was cut short just as it had started blooming. He was a great man, and died a great man. May his soul rest in peace
Victor Kapiyo, Kenya