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Speed Up On Sudan Deal, Urge Leaders At Prayers

8/20/2005 8:14am

The Nation (Nairobi)
Nation Reporter

Leaders who attended a prayer service for Sudan's fallen First Vice-President John Garang called for speedy implementation of the peace deal between his Sudanese People's Liberation Movement/Army and the government.

Hundreds of people, including Cabinet ministers Kalonzo Musyoka, Anyang' Nyong'o and MP Philip Okundi, attended the inter-denominational service at All Saints Cathedral yesterday to pay tribute to the leader they likened to the Bible's Moses and India's Mahatma Gandhi.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs official Frost Josiah, who represented the Kenyan Government, urged the Sudanese to uphold the ideals Dr Garang, who died in a plane crash on July 30, stood for.

"Dr Garang will be missed by the whole world...he was consistent and determined to fight for a new Sudan..the challenge now is intensifying south to south dialogue," said Mr Josiah.

The official also called for international guarantees to secure peace in Sudan.

The peace process should be implemented on schedule, said Mr Nicholas Otieno of the World Council of Churches, adding that there was need for calm in Sudan for people to enjoy what Dr Garang fought for.

21-year war

"We should be inspired by his examples...he heard the cries of his people and acted," he said of the 21-year war spearheaded by Dr Garang to liberate the Sudanese from mistreatment by the Khartoum government.

The Rev Peter Tibi of the New Sudan Council of Churches said Dr Garang was a rare "species" in Africa and was a source of fascination and admiration.

"Although he is gone, he left a good legacy," he said.

Like Moses, who led his people to the promised land but never reached it and Gandhi, who fought for India's independence but never lived to enjoy it, Dr Garang's work should be continued, he said.

Anglican Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi prayed for peace in Sudan, adding that yesterday's Mass was meant for people in Nairobi to show their solidarity with the Sudanese following the death of the SPLM/A leader.

Archbishop Nzimbi called for political and religious tolerance in Sudan.

National Council of Churches of Kenya secretary-general Mutava Musyimi called for support for Sudan as it tries to regain its footing after the war.

Former All African Conference of Churches secretary-general Clement Janda said calm had returned to Sudan after the chaos that rocked the country after Dr Garang's death.

Hundreds of Sudanese attended the service.

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