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Funeral of Sudan ex-rebel leader begins

8/7/2005 5:42am

JUBA, Sudan, Aug 6 (AFP) — The funeral of the late Sudanese vice president and ex-rebel leader John Garang began here Saturday before thousands of grieving and a host of African dignitaries, AFP correspondents said.

Amid a sea of weeping, wailing and singing black-clad southern Sudanese, a priest at Juba’s All Saint’s Cathedral intoned a solemn prayer as the ceremony got under way at 2:15 p.m. (1115 GMT) more than two hours behind schedule.

A crowd of at least 10,000 people, many waving black flags and flags of Garang’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), had gathered in front of the church and along the route Garang’s cortege followed from the airport to the cathedral.

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