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.
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
INTERNET CURBS: People are rushing to erase their digital footprints after police given powers over online activity, although it might take years for the full effect to be felt At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s Internet, appeared to descend on Hong Kong. Unveiling expanded police powers as part of contentious new national security legislation, the Hong Kong government enabled police to censor online speech, and force Internet service providers to hand over user information and shut down platforms. Many residents, already anxious since the legislation took effect last week, rushed to erase their digital footprint of any signs of dissent or support for the past year of protests. Hong Kong Legislator Charles Mok (莫乃光), a pro-democracy member of the Legislative
‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM’: Hong Kongers will never bow to Beijing, the advocate said, while the US’ envoy to the territory called China’s new security law a ‘tragedy’ The world must stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the semi-autonomous territory, advocate Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said yesterday, vowing to continue campaigning for democracy. Wong, one of the territory’s most prominent young advocates and a figure loathed by Beijing, was speaking outside a court where he and fellow advocates are being prosecuted for involvement in last year’s pro-democracy protests. China last week enacted sweeping security legislation for the restless territory, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The legislation has sent a wave of fear through the territory, and criminalized dissenting
‘SUICIDE’: Media reports said Park Won-soon went missing on Thursday after a staff member filed a sexual harassment claim against him this week Seoul mayor Park Won-soon, viewed as a potential candidate for the 2022 presidential election, was found dead of an apparent suicide hours after he was reported missing, police said, adding that he was the subject of an undisclosed investigation. In a note he is thought to have left behind on his desk, Park offered his apologies. “I thank everyone who was with me in my life. I apologize to my family for only making them suffer from pain,” according to the note that was released by his office yesterday. Park, in his letter, asked to be cremated and have his remains spread