Our Fallen War Hero: Obituary and Tributes to the Patriotic Life of Maj. Gen. Atem Aguang Atem

Posted: May 31, 2019 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, Contributing Writers, History, Junub Sudan, Obituary, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers, People

By Manyuon Dhieu Chol, Kongor, Jonglei State

The body of the late Maj. Gen. Atem Aguang Atem being received at Juba airport by the national army; he passed away in kampala on 27 May 2019 after a short illness

Friday, May 31, 2019 (PW) — It is the saddest and huge blow to our beloved country South Sudan, our national army, South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF), Jonglei State and the Greater Bor Dinka community to lose an icon of liberty, a powerful pillar of freedom, a revolutionist, a bold protector for the marginalized people from the hands of successive oppressive regimes in Khartoum, Maj. Gen. Atem Aguang Atem Deng who fall on Monday, 27/05/2019 in Kampala.

Gen. Atem was a significant commander and a fierce fighter who was cherished by his troops and comrades in arm. The unfortunate demised of Gen. Atem at this critical juncture where our country is at a cross-road in need of peaceful settlement of conflict leading to national stability is a tragedy. Our borders are still being encroached in by neighboring countries, the socio-political and economical institutions still need strengthening and presence of skilled human resources personnel like Gen. Atem.

Maj. Gen. Atem Aguang Atem
Maj. Gen. Atem Aguang Atem

The greatest part of his contribution is that he wholeheartedly achieved the missions entrusted upon him. Gen. Atem won many battles against the enemy and most importantly during deadly battles of Pagei, Ashwa Bridge, Parajok, Raja, Kurmuk and Maban.

Maj. Gen. Atem Aguang Atem
Maj. Gen. Atem Aguang Atem

He was tasked by John Garang to commandeer the 1st SPLA troops into Juba in preparation for the establishment of the government of Southern Sudan (GoSS). Three days later, the plane in which Garang was returning from Uganda lost contact and he was tasked by the SPLM/SPLA military command to locate the plane. In 2005, he led the 1st SPLA troops into Juba (https://youtu.be/2OHmwZtIEhY) and later became the 1st head of the JIU. His role in the liberation struggle immortalized in the legendary song by Panchol Deng Ajang. R.I.P Gen. Atem Aguang Atem.

By PaanLuel Wel

General Atem was tasked by Dr. John Garang to take the first two battalion (1,400) SPLA troops from the Southern town of Yei to Juba for the establishment of the Government of Southern Sudan, GoSS. Gen. Atem marched in front of his soldiers into Juba town, with their armors, tanks, artillery, rocket launchers, large trucks mounted with heavy machine guns. Gen. Atem was also the first commander of the Joint Integrated Units (JIU) with the Northern Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) as foreseen under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

Maj. Gen. Atem Aguang Atem; Arrival in Juba in 2005;
Maj. Gen. Atem Aguang Atem; Arrival in Juba in 2005;

Gen. Atem was among the few senior military Generals who after accomplishing liberation of South Sudan, went back to school and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Rural Development from the University of Juba. After his graduation, he was assigned to serve as a Deputy Commander of Division Eight (8) based in Malual-Chat, Bor. And after some years of services, he was transferred to be Deputy Commander of Division Seven (7) based in Torit.

Maj. Gen. Atem Aguang Atem with Gen Malual Majok and Gen Malual Ayom in Gadiang, 2014
Maj. Gen. Atem Aguang Atem with Gen Malual Majok and Gen Malual Ayom in Gadiang, 2014

Before his untimely death, Gen. Atem was reassigned as a Deputy Chief for Supply Chain Logistics in the SSPDF GHQs based in Juba. His outstanding legacy will go down the history of the Republic of South Sudan for the great roles he played during and after the 21-years of civil war that claimed the lives of more than two million.

Maj. Gen. Atem Aguang Atem
Maj. Gen. Atem Aguang Atem
Maj. Gen. Atem Aguang Atem
Maj. Gen. Atem Aguang Atem

This is to acknowledge and to thank His Excellency, Salva Kiir Manyardit, the President of the Republic of South Sudan, and military generals and comrades in arm for their material and social supports provided to Gen. Atem’s family and relatives during this trying moment. Gen. Atem was laid to rest along his other fallen heroes at Jebel Kujur SPLA Heroes’ Ground.

On behalf of my friends and on my own behalf, our prayers and condolence go to his family, relatives, Wut Kongor, Pande Twi, Greater Bor Dinka community and South Sudan at large. You are a true son of the soil and you will be missed greatly by everyone. Rest in Peace Gen. Atem.

Manyuon Dhieu Chol is an Economic Analyst, Cultural Anthropologist, Author of ‘The Dinka Folktales: A Collection of the Dinka’s Short Stories and Mythologies’. He is reachable at Tel. 0913342014, E-Mail: manyuondhieuchol@gmail.com

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  1. Apul says:

    such a great piece.Thank you for this great documentary….
    I am so proud of my father.Rip daddy😂😂😂


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