President Thabo Mbeki to attend the Funeral Service of Dr John Garang, Late Sudanese Vice President

Addis Ababa-President Thabo Mbeki will depart Addis Ababa on Saturday 6 August 2005 to join African leaders in paying their respects at the funeral service of the late Sudanese Vice President and the leader of the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army, Dr. John Garang scheduled for Juba on Saturday.

President Mbeki was in Ethiopia to attend the 4th Extraordinary Summit of the African Union to discuss the Africa's position regarding the comprehensive reform of the UN. President Mbeki also chaired the meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council which discussed current developments in Sudan and Mauritania.
President Mbeki's visit to Sudan follows an earlier visit to the country by Foreign Minister Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who in her capacity as the Chairperson of the African Union Ministerial Committee of the Post-Conflict Reconstruction of the Sudan, visited the country where she met with both the Sudanese Government and the leadership of the SPLM/A.

Earlier in the week, President Mbeki had joined other African leaders and the international community in expressing its hope that both the government and the SPLM/A would remain seized with the historic Comprehensive Peace Agreement reached earlier this year.

Accordingly, South Africa welcomes the statements by both government and the SPLM/A leadership to remain committed to the comprehensive peace agreement. South Africa will, in its capacity as the chair of the African Union Post-Conflict Reconstruction, continue to provide its unequivocal support to the people of Sudan in their endeavour 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.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa at 082-990-4853
South African Mission
Addis Ababa, Ethopia
5 August 2005.

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