Home | News    Friday 5 August 2005

S. Africa president to attend Garang’s funeral in Sudan

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Aug 5, 2005 (PANA) — South African
President Thabo Mbeki will on Saturday attend the funeral of Sudan’s first vice-president, Dr. John Garang, in Juba, the capital city of Southern Sudan.

President Thabo Mbeki.

The leader of the former rebel Sudan People’s Liberation
Movement/Army (SPLM/A) died in a helicpter crash last Saturday as he returned from Uganda, where he had gone for talks with President Yoweri Museveni.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mbeki’s
visit to Sudan follows an earlier visit this week by
Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

In her capacity as the chairperson of the African Union
ministerial committee on the post-conflict reconstruction of
the Sudan, Dr Dlamini-Zuma visited the country and met with both
the Sudanese government and the SPLM/A leadership.

Earlier in the week, President Mbeki had joined other
African leaders and the international community in
urging the government and the SPLM/A to remain seized with
the historic comprehensive peace agreement they signed on 9
January 2005.

South Africa has welcomed the statements by the Sudanese
government and the SPLM/A leadership to remain committed to
the comprehensive peace agreement signed in Nairobi, Kenya.

Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said South Africa will, in its capacity as the chair of the AU Post-Conflict Reconstruction of the Sudan, continue to provide its unequivocal support to the people in that country in their quest for peace and stability.

"President Mbeki reiterates South Africa’s heartfelt
condolences to President Omar Bashir, the government
and the people of Sudan, the leadership of the SPLM/A
and in particular the widow and the family members of
the late Dr. John Garang during this time of
bereavement," Mamoepa stated.

President Mbeki is currently in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
where he attended Thursday’s 4th extraordinary AU
summit that was devoted to Africa’s position regarding the
comprehensive reform of the United nations.

South Africa is among several African countries seeking
to represent Africa as permanent members of the proposed
expanded UN Security Council.

Mbeki departs Addis Ababa on Saturday for Sudan to attend
Garang’s funeral.