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Sudanese cardinal asks commitment to peace process

8/30/2005 5:00pm

Sudanese cardinal asks commitment to peace process

Khartoum, Aug. 30 (FIDES/ - The Catholic archbishop of Khartoum, Cardinal Zubeir Wako, is confident the peace process will continue in the African country, but warns that Sudan’s stability depends on fair sharing of the country’s resources and respect for human rights, the Fides news service reports. Cardinal Wako has appealed to Sudan’s political leaders to put the interests of the country first. In a press conference in Cologne organized by the Catholic aid agency Aid to the Church in Need, the cardinal said that stability in Sudan depends largely on honest and fair sharing of the country’s resources and respect for human rights.? Sudan is still in shock after the sudden death of newly appointed vice president John Garang, the leader of the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army, who piloted a landmark peace agreement with the central government signed in Nairobi on January 9. Garang was killed in a helicopter crash on July 30 as he returned from a meeting in Kampala with Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni. The leader’s death was followed by riots in Khartoum in which several people were killed and wounded.? Cardinal Wako warned that a renewal of civil war between the Muslim north and Christian and animist south is still a threat, although he said he is confident the peace process will continue despite the death of Garang. He said that he hoped the late vice-president’s sucessors will respect his message of peace.

The Sudanese Catholic leader also urged the international community to maintain its support of all the Sudanese parties which uphold democracy and respect for human rights. He stressed the need to re-establish the presence of the Catholic Church in southern Sudan in order to assist the returning refugees after years of civil war.? John Garang’s successor as vice president of Sudan is Salva Kiir, another Catholic from the south. He announced that he intends to follow the path of peace traced by his predecessor.


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