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statement on the death of the vice president of sudan


Statement on the Death of Dr. John Garang de Mabior, Vice President of Sudan

Most Reverend John H. Ricard, SSJ
Bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee
Chairman, International Policy Committee
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

August 3, 2005

Our prayers are with the people of Sudan – both north and south – in the tragic loss of their vice president John Garang de Mabior. His sudden death is a loss not only to his native Sudan, but to all of Africa and to all people of goodwill struggling to transcend violence and injustice.

He was a man of vision who turned from war to peace to bring the hope of a brighter future to all the people of Sudan. The agreement between the government of Sudan and his movement – the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement – ended hostilities, gave the hope of equal justice to the people of Sudan, and sought to preserve the unity of Sudan.

We urge the people of Sudan and their leaders to respect that agreement, which is part of John Garang's legacy, and pursue the path of peace, justice, unity and economic development. We ask the international community to provide generous support for these urgent political and economic needs.

At this difficult time of loss, we stand in solidarity with our brother bishops of Sudan in their heroic efforts to bring peace and justice to the people they serve. 

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