Saturday, August 06, 2005

African Bishops: Sheperds with Spines

CNS has this story: "Sudanese cardinal calls for end to rioting following Garang's death":
"Out of respect for our departed and beloved brother, John Garang, out of respect for our president, and our second vice president, and respect for our country: Stop the violence. A new Sudan has been born. Say goodbye to violence. Say welcome to peace. I appeal that Khartoum be the capital from which peace spreads out to envelope the whole country," said Cardinal Gabriel Zubeir Wako of Khartoum in an Aug. 2 statement.

The capital of Khartoum has been besieged by conflict between Northerners and Southerners following the death of Garang, who was killed in a helicopter crash in southern Sudan. More than 100 people had been killed by Aug. 4 in the ensuing violence, according to media reports.

"Brother, sister, throw down that knife, that stick, that spear, that gun. Stop fomenting hatred and bitterness among the people. Why are you killing? Why are you harming your brother and sister? Why are you spreading fear? What do you get out of violence?" the cardinal said.

The cardinal said Garang gave his life for peace and that the Sudanese dishonor the former rebel leader's memory by resorting to violence.

"I speak to all the Sudanese people. I am sure all of you remember Dr. Garang's words, words full of conviction and clarity: no more war; peace has come to stay; Sudan is one; all in it are brothers and sisters; it is a Sudan in which all the Sudanese will live and work together for a better and happier future, a Sudan of progress and development, a Sudan that cares for its people, especially the poorest, the weakest, and the most abandoned of them," the cardinal said.
May the sheep of Sudan listen to his voice. May they give themselves the chance to live the peace for which John Garang lived and died. His memory deserves no less, and the people that he fought to unite deserve so much more.