Gen. Pieng Deng Kuol: The Hero of Jesh-Amer and Lostboys & Girls of South Sudan

Posted: March 22, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Deng Kur Deng, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

Appreciation of a Mindful Leader, and a Hero to Many—Gen. Pieng Deng Kuol

By Deng Kur Deng, Pennsylvania, USA

Generals Pieng Deng Majok, Paul Malong Awan and Malual Ayom Dor at the Bor Airport during the second liberation of Bor, 2014

Generals Pieng Deng Majok, Paul Malong Awan and Malual Ayom Dor at the Bor Airport during the second liberation of Bor, 2014

March 22, 2018 (SSB) — In our long-delayed independence, the never-ending suffering of the people of South Sudan was achieved through withstanding a horrible experience. This was something many weren’t prepared to confront, but leaders were wholeheartedly realized, even by very young people.

There are men and women who have experienced excruciating pain, difficulties, and so forth, but they never gave up serving the people in the middle of indescribable suffering, especially among the children. Some of us didn’t even know what the war, that brought so much suffering, was all about until later years.

As is oftentimes stated, a child can differentiate between those who care and those who could care less. In the middle of the mess, women, children, and elderly can only depend on the real one—a leader meant to stand tall in the middle of an unbearable storm of chaos and sorrow.

In the inexplicably dreadful and horrific consequences of war, the leaders are divided—those who can’t take it anymore, and those who are willingly committed amidst the confusion and carry on their duties.

In all this suffering, we cannot forget the man who made the greatest impact on many vulnerable children during our struggle, General Pieng Deng Kuol—a man who has done so much for thousands and thousands of children. Gen. Pieng Deng is a selfless leader—a leader you would want to have on your team of achievers and he is indeed an achiever.

For example, when Jurkuch Barach arrived, Panyudio was a well functioning community because of Pieng’s commitment. Jurkuch was left with community that was functioning and stable. We were not dying in large numbers anymore during Jurkuch’s time unlike time of Gen. Pieng where array of concerns were overwhelming.

Luckily, Gen. Pieng was brave, kind, open, friendly, and understanding, which helped him lead in immeasurable difficulties.

His persistence and courage are to be remembered and appreciated. He has exemplified the characteristics of a true leader with his moral courage, caring, support, optimism, honesty, commitment, positive attitude, and creativity.

Those are just a few traits that are aligned with our hero, Pieng Deng, a man with hopes and dreams for better. A young man, then, Pieng Deng was exceptional. He was very constructive in his thinking and, largely, in his leadership.

His mindset and his level of understanding of our problems makes him undeniably recognized as a leader many have praised for his care and success. Pieng Deng’s level of leadership should be taken as an example and admired in various conditions. To Pieng, no mess is too mess to clean.

Our people should, at least, explore his methods and adapt his attitudes of winning and acceptance in order to defeat our differences as people of South Sudan. Sometimes, when I reflect back on the nerve-wracking experiences we had, I wonder and ask myself, “How did Pieng Deng manage massive numbers of unorganized children into an organized and functioning community?”

Most importantly, you might wonder how did Dr. John Garang de Mabior judge the character, humanity, and good intentions of one man? Not only did he manage a camp with excessive difficulties but with few resources in place.

This has given many a reason to appreciate him. His respect would not demean nor break among the Lost Boys, and maybe among those he served after. Alier Ayom and many others have served alongside Gen, Pieng.

Yes, there were known incompetent leaders within the SPLM/A, but I can attest that General Pieng was liked, appreciated, and loved for his character and leadership, which he employed to better the lives of many children.

His effective leadership strategies created an environment where vulnerable children were made conscious and aware of the situation through communication and integrity, and a nurturing collaboration throughout the camp, which has built a lasting relationship between him and many of the young people, then known by various names such as Jesh Amer, also known as a Lost Boy.

Remember, there were many children dying every day, yet he remains intact. I would be remiss if I failed to note that, if Pieng Deng was a weak hearted person, his health would have deteriorated. His mental health, in particular, would have taken over his life.

Maybe the strength of Pieng was solidified by the support of his wife and those he was working with. Now, it is worth mentioning, for Pieng’s children, that their father is a great man with courage and a reputation that makes him respected and appreciated by many.

Gen. Pieng Deng Kuol, you are well-regarded because you have what many leaders don’t have. Thank you for caring and leading.

This article was written by Deng Kur Deng AKA Raanmangar. You can reach him at pananyangajak@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.

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