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Sudan, South Sudan mourn death of Mansour Khalid

April 24 - 2020 KHARTOUM / JUBA
Dr Mansour Khalid (SUNA)
Dr Mansour Khalid (SUNA)

On Thursday, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok paid tribute to Dr Mansour Khalid, politician, diplomat, thinker, and historian, who passed away at the age of 89 in Khartoum on Wednesday evening. The South Sudanese president ordered the flags in the country to be flown at half-mast.

Khalid also worked for the United Nations in New York. He was later transferred to the Unesco office in Paris where he was responsible for the relations with the Arab states for a number of years.

In a press statement on Thursday, Hamdok lauded the prominent intellectual and former foreign minister (1971-1975), saying that he took outstanding political and diplomatic posts in Sudan, and in regional and international organisations.

Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs described Khalid in a press statement on Thursday as the founder of Sudanese diplomacy “with his unique capabilities” in the early seventies when he took office as FA Minister in the government of Jaafar Nimeiri.

“Dr Khalid mapped out Sudan modern diplomacy and formulated its structures, benefitting from his regional and international experiences,” the ministry stated.

The ministry further lauded the efforts exerted by the late politician to realise peace and security in Sudan.

In the 1980s the late diplomat became a close friend of the late John Garang, leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in the then southern part of Sudan. He served as SPLM negotiator during the peace negotiations with Khartoum that led to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in January 2005.

After the death of John Garang in July 2005, Khalid stayed in contact with his successor, Salva Kiir, who became president of South Sudan after the secession from Sudan in 2011.

On Thursday, President Salva Kiir ordered the flags to be flown at half-mast for a period of three days. “Dr Mansour Khalid contributed tirelessly to the South Sudan liberation struggle,” the presidency in Juba said in a statement.

In a short reaction published by Sudan Tribune yesterday, prominent South Sudanese politician and diplomat Francis Deng called Mansour “a true giant who, through his scholarly and intellectual contributions, his political stands, and his public service, transcended the divides of identity politics in favour of justice and human dignity for all nationally, regionally and globally”.

Mansour Khalid is also the author of several books on Sudan, including Nimeiri and the Revolution of Dis-May, The Government They Deserve: The Role of the Elite in Sudan’s Political Evolution, and War and Peace in the Sudan. A Tale of Two Countries.

(Sources: Sudan News Agency, Radio Tamazuj, Sudan Tribune, Asharq Al-Awsat)

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