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African lioness

"African lioness" Continued...

Issue: "Tighter lips?," Feb. 18, 2006

Eight years later, the school has 785 students, ages 5 to 18, and Mrs. Garang is raising money to build a high school. Though she has tapped a colleague to oversee the school while she serves in government, Mrs. Garang hopes to return to running the school and replicating the model in other regions. She's enthusiastic about the school's success: "The students at our bush school perform better than students in government schools."

Mrs. Garang is also enthusiastic about cultivating progress for women in her role as minister of roads and transportation, and told WORLD she plans to be the first Sudanese official to hire a female driver. She is also personally teaching 25 women how to drive.

While Mrs. Garang presses on with her husband's work in southern Sudan, a Sudanese inquiry team presses on with its investigation of the crash that killed Mr. Garang last July. Abel Alier, head of the inquiry, said the team hopes to complete its report by the end of February. Some southern Sudanese have speculated that Mr. Garang's death was not an accident, but an attempt by enemies to thwart the peace agreement he brokered. Mrs. Garang won't speculate on whether foul play was involved, but says, "We have to be patient for the results. . . . I am waiting with the people of Sudan and the rest of the world. We all want to know what happened to Dr. John."

Jamie Dean
Jamie Dean

Jamie lives and works in North Carolina, where she covers the national political beat and other topics as news editor for WORLD. Follow Jamie on Twitter @deanworldmag.

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