Garang Calls for Reconciliation and Unity Among Southern Sudanese

NAIROBI, 20 May 2005 (Sudan Tribune) -- The former rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) leader John Garang has called for forgiveness, reconciliation and unity among southern Sudanese to allow for the implementation of the comprehensive peace agreement.

According to the USAID founded Sudan Radio Service, Garang says it is only when there is unity within the Movement and among people that southern Sudan will be able to face the challenges of peace that are ahead.

The SPLM leader told SPLM officials and supporters during celebrations to mark the SPLM's 22nd anniversary in Rumbek this week that some people opposed to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement will try to divide the southern Sudanese in order to derail the peace.

He says he will personally contact leaders of armed groups allied to the government -- who did not participate in the recent south-south dialogue -- to bring them into the process of forgiveness, reconciliation and unity.

The three-day south-south dialogue conference that was held 18-21 April in Nairobi, Kenya was boycotted by Major General Paulino Matipu and Brigadier Gabriel Tanginya, two senior officers in the Sudanese army who also control much of the oil-rich Upper Nile state in southern Sudan.

Both men, who command heavily armed militias, strongly oppose the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) which signed a peace deal with Khartoum last January.

Some critics, who say SPLM/A leader John Garang essentially acts in the interests of his Dinka people - the largest ethnic group in southern Sudan - warn that militia groups opposing him could move in, once Sudanese government troops withdrew from their southern positions in next August.


Posted in: Governance
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