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    Condolences and a tribute to Dr John Garang de Mabior
    Letter from WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia to H.E. General Salva Kiir Mayardit Chairman and Commander-in-Chief of SPLM and SPLA, Vice-president of the Government of the Republic of Sudan and President of the Government of South Sudan

    1 August 2005

    It is with deep sadness that I received the news about the untimely death of Dr John Garang. On behalf of the World Council of Churches, a fellowship of churches from around the world, and on my own behalf, I send you and the people of Sudan our sincere condolences. Our prayers and thoughts are with you during this mournful period.

    As the leader of Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) Dr Garang came to embody the struggle of the people of Southern Sudan. He was totally committed to the struggle for justice, peace and dignity for all the people of Sudan. It was a struggle for which he dedicated his life and for which he was prepared to die if need be. It is only a few months ago that his dream and vision were considerably fulfilled with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement resulting in his assuming the position of first Vice-president of the Republic of Sudan and President of South Sudan in the new political dispensation. It is most lamentable that he should die in the manner he did, in a helicopter crash.

    Dr Garang’s demise is a tragedy of enormous proportions. His death is a huge loss not only to the people of Sudan but to the people of Eastern Africa and the continent as a whole. I got to know Dr Garang very well during my intensive involvement in the peace negotiations for the SPLM. He was a greatly talented intellectual, and a selfless and charismatic leader. In John Garang Sudan has lost a valuable son and a committed nationalist whose life was devoted to the struggle of his people. As you try to come to terms with this huge loss please be assured of our support and solidarity.

    Our confidence is that the implications of Dr Garang’s death may not adversely affect the process towards economic and social reconstruction of Southern Sudan. We pray for God’s wisdom for you to enable you to oversee a peaceful transition and nurture the hope generated by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. We shall continue to work through Sudan Council of Churches, New Sudan Council of Churches and the Sudanese churches for a lasting and just peace in Sudan.

    As you assume your responsibility as the Vice-president of the Republic of Sudan and President of South Sudan, we assure you of our prayers and support.

    With best wishes to you, the SPLM and the people of Sudan.








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