For an analysis of what the death of Sudan?s Vice-President John Garang might mean to the peace process, English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua contacted Suliman Baldo, director of the Africa program of the New York-based International Crisis Group, an independent, non-profit NGO.

Mr. Baldo says, ?Well, for us we are really in shock. We see this as a very critical moment for the peace process in Sudan and for the stability of that country. John Garang is someone with real, exceptional stature. He is a peace man. He has led his people both in north and south Sudan to peace. And we are concerned that this achievement is now at a very delicate moment.?

Does this mean he thinks the peace process is in jeopardy? ?We are encouraged by the fact that both the government of Khartoum and the Sudan people?s Liberation Movement and Army, Garang?s organization, are saying the right things now. But of course you?ve been following reports of rioting in Khartoum.?

Mr. Baldo says it?s important to make clear that Mr. Garang?s death was an accident and that the SPLM and the Khartoum government must work together to ease any tensions.