Celebrating the exemplary life of Gen Andrew Makur Thou

Posted: March 15, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By Mangar Amerdid, Juba, South Sudan

March 14, 2018 (SSB) — It is with great sadness that the Republic of South Sudan has lost a beloved visionary leader and son, Gen. Andrew Makur Thou. Among the most decorated military, diplomatic and political leaders to emerge from South Sudan, Gen. Makur lived his live in service of his people and country. Born in Yirol (Atuot), Greater Lakes State in 1942, Gen. Makur yearned to attain an education. As a young boy, his parents enrolled him in Panekar Elementary School in 1954 and later Tonj Intermediate School. He then attended Rumbek Secondary School from 1962 to 1964.

When conflict erupted between Southern and Northern Sudan during the 1st Sudan civil war, Gen. Makur joined the Anya-Nya Movement and was commissioned as an officer rising to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. Additionally, he received commando training from French instructors as well as infantry training from British and Israeli soldiers at different locations in South Sudan. This led him to graduate as one of the top commando trainees in the Anya-Nya Movement and was appointed overall Commander in Lakes district after the execution of Commander Philip Nanga Marik in 1968.

Following the signing of the Addis Ababa Agreement in 1972, Gen. Makur rose in rank as Lt. Colonel and was later integrated into the Sudan People’s Armed Forces. He was tasked with the responsibility to command several infantry battalions in Southern Sudan and Northern Sudan. In the Southern region, he was battalion commander in places like Bor, Aweil and Rumbek. While serving as Battalion commander in Aweil, he participated in conflict management between Arab-Rizigat of Southern Darfur and Dinka Malual of Aweil District of South Sudan. The first peace conference for this conflict was held on the River Safah (Bahr El Arab) and the second was held in Babanousa which included Arab Bagara of Southern Kordofan.

In 1976, Gen. Makur received approval to study at the Command and Staff College in Omdurman where he obtained a Masters Degree in Military Science. After graduating, he was assigned as Colonel to take charge of the Administration and Quartermaster General of First Division-Southern Command in Juba in 1978. Due to his astute performance, Gen. Makur was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General and placed as commander of the 12th Infantry Brigade in Wau, Greater Bahr El Ghazal.

During the period of relative peace following the signing of the Addis Ababa Agreement when the Southern region exercised relative autonomy, Gen. Makur served as Minister of Commerce, Supply and Cooperatives. In 1986, he was elected MP in the National Constituent Assembly, representing Greater Bahr El Ghazal in parliament from 1986 to 1988. The same year, Gen. Makur resigned from parliament after he was recalled for military duty in the Sudan Armed Forces by Gen. Abdel Magid Ahmed Khalil and with request from the people of Greater Bahr El Ghazal to solve the conflict between the Dinka in Wau and the Fertit of Western Bahr El Ghazal. When he returned to serve in the military, he was promoted to the rank of Major General and appointed as Divisional Commander of Sudan Border Forces with his office in the army’s general head quarters in Khartoum.

Following the military coup in 1989, Omar Al Bashir came to power; this led to Gen. Makur being appointed as the Military Governor of Greater Bahr El Ghazal. He served as the Military Governor from 1989 to 1991 and was retired from the army under section 51(a) of the Sudan Army Officers Pension Laws with a rank of General and privileges in the laws section as directed by the Supreme Commander in Chief of the Sudan Armed Forces.

Noting his strong leadership skills, Gen. Makur was then immediately appointed as Ambassador in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Khartoum. He served as Sudan Ambassador to various countries which included Italy, Poland, Ukraine, Rome and Croatia.

The loss of Gen. Andrew Makur Thou, is immense. As we mourn his passing, we thank God for having blessed us with a remarkable son of South Sudan. You will be remembered as a leader who embraced everyone, regardless of their political standing, tribal affiliation, sex or age. Your exemplary character, calm spirit and welcoming smile will not be forgotten. May you Rest In Peace, Gen. Andrew Makur Thou.

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