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Africa

2003-11-06

AFRICA/SUDAN - “THE CHURCH IS THE BEST CHANNEL FOR DIALOGUE WITH THE PEOPLE OF SOUTHERN SUDAN” SAYS HASSAN AL TURABI THE COUNTRY’S CHIEF MUSLIM LEADER

Khartoum (Fides Service )- The Church is the best channel for dialogue with the people in the south. This was affirmed by main Muslim leader in Sudan Sheikh Hassan Al Turabi during an interview with Al Jazeera Arab TV after his meeting with newly created Cardinal Gabriel Zubeir Wako, Archbishop of Khartoum. According to CISA news agency the meeting took place at Khartoum’s Catholic Cathedral on November 1
Al Turabi, who is president National Peoples’ Congress, congratulated the Cardinal on his appointment and for his role in promoting interreligious dialogue in Sudan. Al Turabi also stressed that Muslims and Christians must work together for peace .
Cardinal Wako assured the Muslim leader that Sudan is in the heart and mind of the Pope who still recalls the warm welcome he received during his apostolic visit to Sudan in 1993. The Cardinal said that for his part, he prayed for God to enlighten him understand his role in Sudan and in the universal Church.
Since 1983 there has been a war in southern Sudan between the government army and troops of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement SPLA. So far some 2 million people have died in the conflict. In September this year the sides reached an agreement for the withdrawal of government troops from southern Sudan and progressive fusion of SPLA/M troops with the regular army to form a unified force. The sides also reached a political agreement for a six year transition period to be followed by a referendum for southern Sudan’s self-determination. (L.M.) (Fides Service 6/11/2003, lines 27 words 310)

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