WORLD magazine reports on the widow of Sudan freedom fighter John Garang who visited the United States recently. Following in her husband's footsteps, Rebecca Garang looks to serve her war-torn, poverty-stricken country from a position of influence.
Six months after her husband's death, Rebecca Garang still thinks of John Garang as a Moses for southern Sudan. Mr. Garang, the indefatigable leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) for 22 years, was the pivotal figure in negotiating a 2004 peace treaty with northern Sudan that promised to let his people go. But Mr. Garang wouldn't live to see the full results: On July 30, 2005, three weeks after being named vice president of Sudan under the peace agreement, Mr. Garang, 60, died when his helicopter crashed on a return trip from Uganda to New Site, his compound in southern Sudan.
The SPLM quickly endorsed Salva Kiir, Mr. Garang's deputy, as its new leader. But it was Mr. Garang's widow who would emerge as a Joshua figure for southern Sudan, exuding strength in grief and promising to continue her husband's legacy. Standing next to Mr. Garang's coffin with their six children at his funeral, Mrs. Garang, 49, comforted mourners, urging them to accept the leader's death as God's will and saying: "The lion is dead and we will see what the lioness will do."
Read the complete article: African Lioness