Celebrating the Exemplary Life of Justice Abel Alier Kwai Kut, President of the HEC

Posted: January 20, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan, Mabil Manyok Nhial, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers, People

Today, 20th of January 2018, the Greater Bor Dinka community in Juba, South Sudan, is celebrating the exemplary life of Justice Abel Alier Kwai Kut, the first President of the High Executive Council, an Autonomous Juba-based Government Southern Sudan Promulgated after the Signing of the Addis Ababa Agreement in 1972

By Mabil Manyok Nhial, Gweru, Zimbabwe

Abel Alier Kwai Kut

Justice Abel Alier Kwai Kut, First President of the High Executive Council, an Autonomous Juba-based government

January 20, 2018 (SSB) — Gabriel G. Marquez, in his work, Love in the Time of Cholera, vividly elucidated the essence of one’s birth in one’s lifetime, “He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.” Abel Alier’s birth sealed this saying as he is pleasantly described by his personal conviction.


Justice Abel Alier hails from Kut Ajak’s family of Angakuei clan, Baidit Payam, Dinka Bor of the Dinka. He was born in 1933 in Magaar village, Angakuei clan, Bor District of Upper Nile Region in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. He was named as Alier-Wal Kuai Kut in line with his totemic Dinka name, which reflects a sense of responsibility and personal uniqueness.

He has always been adulated as a lucky son of Africa, who was born with greatness thrust upon him just like other African sons, who were born in 1930s such as Prof. Chinua Achebe of Nigeria (1930), Prof. Ngugi wa Thiong’o of Kenya (1938), Prof. Wole Soyinka of Nigeria (1934), Prof. Ali Mazrui of Kenya (1933), Dr. Okot p’Bitek of Uganda (1931), Prof. Taban Lo Liyong of South Sudan (1930), David Rubadiri of Malawi (1930) and so many other great leaders and academics who were born in 1930s.

In my own words, this period of 1930s is reasonably the time of the birth of great giants of Africa.

H.E Abel Alier has got great commonalities with his other African colleagues so named above. These similarities include among others: they shone and still shine brightly before the world within the bounds of their academic acumen and leadership, all of them were born within the period of the 1930s and that they became human rights activists as their writings unquestionably inspire the entire globe.

Abel Alier’s father was Kut Ajak Thiong from Angakuei of Juor Athooc and Anai Kuei Mel from Kuch-dok, Palek clan of Juor Ghok. Abel was raised up by his dignified parents who paid much attention to his upbringing. He was so well groomed right away from his childhood. He was a favorite son of the entire clan in as early as his boyhood memories could tell.


It is undeniable that Abel was among a few blessed children of the then Sudan since the first mission school was set up in 1904 at Malek in Bor Dinkaland. This was Malek Elementary School which became the centre of learning from as far as Equatoria, Barh el Gazalle and Upper Nile. Education in those days used to come one’s way only when privileged.

Only a few students were competitively needed within the entirety of Southern Region of the Sudan to be admitted in Secondary schools.

Being born with a unique brain, Abel was among a few who made their way ahead to the renowned Rembek Supplementary School, which produced so many leaders in South Sudan. In the same vain, he attended Wad Saina College in North Sudan.

After that, Abel joined the College of Law at the University of Khartoum where he graduated with LLB in 1959. After serving in various posts in the then Sudan, he proceeded to Yale University in the US, where he did his LLM. He then became an unimpeachable human rights lawyer with tactical modes operandi.


H.E Justice Abel Alier-Wal Kuai got married to Siama Lual Ayen from Kolnyang of Ghok. Abel has four children and these are as follows: Kuai, Lual, Ayen and Kut. It is said that every successful man has an unshakeable woman behind him. Abel Alier was no exception to this as his wife fits his shoes.


Justice Abel Alier joined politics in as early as the 1960s. He was an active member of the Southern Front where he played some active role right from its formation in 1964. H.E Abel Alier was elected to the National Parliament from 1968 to 1969 for Bor South Constituency. He thereafter held many ministerial posts in the Sudanese government which was badly dominated by the Arabs and a few Africans.

Abel Alier competently served as Vice President of Sudan between 1971 and 1982 and as President of the High Executive Council of the Southern Sudan Autonomous Region between 1972 and 1978 after the Sudan gained her independence from the UK in 1956.


One cannot be so oblivious that Justice Abel Alier, like any great leader, has so many achievements that cannot be forgotten in the history of the then Sudan and Present-day South Sudan. These accomplishments are so many, but a few of them are well adumbrated hereinafter.

H.E Abel Alier Kuai established his law firm as a successful lawyer. His legal background made him shimmer in the Sudanese eyes. As a qualified legal Practitioner, he was smartly appointed as magistrate of Southern origin. He was subsequently appointed as the first judge from the most disadvantaged Southern Sudanese, after serving as magistrate for sometimes.

It is indubitable that H.E Abel Alier was among the few South Sudanese who attended the Round Table Conference in 1965.

In 1972, H.E Abel Alier-Wal became a pivotal point in signing the Addis Ababa Peace Accord. It was this agreement ushered in by him which made Southern Sudan to have her own autonomous government based in Juba.

It is unrefuted that Justice Abel Alier laid a concrete foundation in terms of development in South Sudan. He built most of the current institutions, towns and cities today. He built the Parliament, Juba Bridge (the longest bridge in South Sudan), Ministries and J1. He also drilled boreholes in the entire land of South Sudan. These provide clean water for human use.

It is would be unforgivable mistake to leave out his great achievement in promoting education in South Sudan as it was lucidly explicated by Governor Philip Aguer Panyang during Abel’s visit to his homeland last year. A tangible example is the University of Juba, which was built under his auspices when he was President of High Executive Council.

The learned leader also named the current Jonglei State during the creation of 25 states of the Sudan before the independence of South Sudan.

As an academic of a very high profile, he believes in the principle that “what proves a learned man is by putting down his thoughts and ideas so that the world may eat his brain.” This was seen in his work of the 1990s entitled ‘Southern Sudan: Too Many Agreements Dishonoured.’

This book delves into how The Addis Ababa Peace Agreement was shamelessly dishonored by the erstwhile President Numeiri who pronounced Sharia Law to be the Law of the Sudan putting peace at stake. The book also unleashes how Riek Machar’s agreement, popularly known as The Khartoum Agreement remained unimplemented.

The then Judge represented the Sudan, where he sat in the Permanent Court of International Arbitration in The Hague. He is an internationally acclaimed judge, human rights lawyer, and activist who defends the rights of the disadvantaged Christians.

He undoubtedly defended the rights of the dominated Christians, who were being mistreated by the Arab cliques. He is recognized as the most illustrious and legendary Christian lawyer that has ever lived in the history of South Sudan as clearly stated by Rev. Dr. Kobia of Methodist Church in Kenya.

As an international figure, Abel greatly helped in assisting the SPLM/A to get some donations and grants of different forms, although he by no means a rebel with the Southerners. During the movement, Abel was instrumental in assisting the SPLA/M and the Khartoum government to negotiate on several occasions.

Justice Abel was in Khartoum, but he could not waste a minute to remind the world community such as the UK, the US, EU among others. All these efforts capacitated his nephew Dr. John Garang as he used to call him, to be stone-hearted and determined to fight tooth and nail and use diplomatic means.

All these culminated in the CPA, which gave birth to the independence of South Sudan. That is why he was described as a symbol of peace and reconciliation by Jonglei Governor Philip Aguer, during his visit to the State.



As one of a few distinguished judges, Abel Alier got inborn honesty which enables him to fit his legal shoes. Law is considered to as a noble profession and it cannot be so noble without this quality. Honesty is, therefore, a cornerstone for a lawyer as required by the code of ethics. Abel was indeed born with this inherent trait as he loves telling the truth even if it hurts him or his neighbor.


This quality is always seen in him by everyone who lives within his ambiances and that is why Philip Aguer cautioned the youth to copy exemplary nature of this legendary leader Abel Alier.


Abel Alier is known far and wide as a very humble leader of all times. It is hard if not impossible for our leaders of the day to socialize freely with other common people. It is not a surprise to see Abel Alierdit with any category of people and this indicates this humble nature and legal background make him believe that all men are born equal.


A person with a sane brain can agree without any objection that it is competence that made Justice Abel Alier climb the ladder of leadership in which he held many political positions. It is the same competence that made him sit among the world judges in the Permanent Court of International Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands.


As required of a lawyer, Abel is industriously diligent in whatever task he does. That is why he could fit any position so given to him whether a legal sit or a political position. Such numerous achievements cannot come on a silver plate if one is not diligent.


As one of a few lucky students, Abel could smartly fit in the cattle camp, school, and the village. This trait enables him to live a happy simple life, which has greatly inspired a good number of people within Bor and beyond.


One of the citizens of Bor composed a song asking God to continue protecting Abel Alier Kuai Kut. He is an open-handed, altruistic leader, who gives as much as possible and that is why people adulate him day and night as a gift to this world. They wish him to live long.

Nhialic muk Alier Kuai Kut, yong ke muk!

The writer is a law student at Midlands State University, Zimbabwe and can be reached via: johnmabilmanyok@gmail.com

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. PaanLuel Wël website (SSB) do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

  1. David Cobby says:

    Thanks Maulana for the Article.


  2. David Matiop says:

    Good remarks on today celebration of former president Southern Executive High Council of Autonomous based in Juba H.E Justice Abel Alier Kwai Kut


  3. David Matiop says:

    I mean Good remarks on today celebration of former president of Southern Sudan Executive High Council of Autonomous Government based in Juba H.E Justice Abel Alier Kwai Kut


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