Sudan's main rebel leader John Garang, who will sign a peace deal with President Omar el-Beshir tomorrow, ending more than two decades of civil war in south Sudan, once shifted his allegiances over the Cold War and its aftermath to win his people a vote on independence. \nNow, he is set to become Sudan's senior vice president after the country's parliament enacts a transitional constitution -- based on the peace agreement -- by Feb. 20. \nWith the full blessing of Washington, the balding US-educated economist-turned-guerrilla once derided as a Soviet stooge, has finally won respectability as the leader of an internationally endorsed autonomous administration. \nBut as he swaps his military fatigues for civilian clothes, he faces the daunting task of rebuilding one of Africa's least developed regions after the continent's longest-running conflict. \nBorn in the remote Bor district in 1945, near the River Nile, Garang was one of the few in British-controlled southern Sudan to enjoy education beyond primary level. \nAfter completing his secondary education in Tanzania, he went on to study economics at Grinnell College, Iowa. \nIn 1970, he walked away from the offer of a graduate fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley, to take up arms against the Khartoum regime. \nThe so-called Anyanya uprising ended with a 1972 Addis Ababa peace agreement under which Garang joined the Sudanese military, eventually rising to the rank of colonel and receiving training at the US army infantry school in Fort Benning, Georgia. \nHe returned to the bush in September 1983 after then president Gaafar Mohammed Nimeiri imposed Islamic law in defiance of the 1972 truce. Ironically, Garang had been sent by the government to suppress a mutiny by southern troops in his home district of Bor. \nThe 105 Battalion of the Sudanese army, which he had commanded in the 1970s, became the nucleus of the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA). \nWashington's Cold War alliance with the Khartoum government prompted Garang to throw in his lot with the pro-Soviet government in neighboring Ethiopia. \nHe was later to dismiss the alliance as a "marriage of convenience." \nThe overthrow of the Soviet-backed regime in Addis Ababa in 1991 prompted a disastrous split in rebel ranks which brought Garang to his lowest ebb. \nThe SPLA divided on ethnic lines with Garang maintaining the support of his Dinka tribe, while the rival Nuer sided with breakaway leader Riek Machar. \nThe subsequent internecine fighting between the two sides appalled even sympathizers of the southern cause. \nA 1994 report by New York-based Human Rights Watch accused all sides of gross violations of the rules of war, while aid agencies accused rebel and army commanders alike of diverting desperately needed relief supplies. \nIn the early 1990s, the regime gave refuge to Osama bin Laden, a decision that prompted a US missile strike on the Sudanese capital in 1998. \nThe election in 2000 of US President George W. Bush, whose Republican Party included many Evangelical sympathizers with the Christian cause in south Sudan, provided a further boost. \nThrough the long negotiations that followed a framework agreement in July 2002, it was Washington that maintained the momentum propelling the two sides forward. \nNow that the war is finally over, Garang makes no secret of how much remains to be done to win the peace. \n"We haven't had tarmac roads since creation. We are literally starting from scratch," Garang said earlier this year in his interim capital of Rumbek.
TARNISHED LEGACY: Woodrow Wilson served as the university’s president before becoming the US’ 28th leader, but his racism was ‘significant and consequential’ Princeton University is removing former US president Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and one of its residential colleges after trustees concluded that the 28th president’s “racist thinking and policies” made him “an inappropriate namesake.” The Ivy League school’s trustees made the decision on Friday, according to a statement on Saturday. It comes at a time of widespread rethinking of the US’ racial legacy. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, energized by a series of high-profile deaths of black Americans, has resulted in the removal of Confederate monuments, flags and symbols of racism across the US. Deleting Wilson’s name at Princeton
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Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around