It was a dark moment for South Sudan as the SPLA Chief of Defense Force Gen James Ajongo Mawut was laid to rest this week.
Accompanied by the First Lady Mary Ayen Mayardit, President Kiir and Senior government officials bade farewell to the casket of the Late SPLA chief of defense force Gen. James Ajongo Mawut at Juba International Airport on Thursday.
Gen Ajongo recently passed away in Cairo, Egypt after a short illness.
Information minister and government spokesperson Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth said the body of the deceased was flown to Aweil state and would be buried at his home area at Bar Mayen.
Hon Makuei said Ajongo, who was working for the reformation of the SPLA, left a shinning legacy of hard work.
Earlier, Kiir joined other military Commanders, officers and NCOs in a military parade in honor of Gen Ajongo.
A number of Ministers, advisers and military representatives from Ethiopia, Tanzania, Sudan, Rwanda and Uganda, as well as military attachés of the United States and the United Kingdom in Juba paid their last respect to Gen Ajongo.
Uganda’s 2nd Division Commander Brig Kayanja Muhanga, who led the operation that defeated Dr Riek Machar’s insurgency, graced the occasion.
The president said Ajongo’s sudden departure evoked memories of the death of Dr. John Garang – who left at a time when the SPLM and the SPLA were in the process of entering into the post-war interim arrangement.
He said Gen. Ajongo had a real vision of reforms within the SPLA.
Kiir applauded the people of South Sudan for standing in unity with the leadership of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, and the family of the late in this difficult time.
The South Sudan leader further praised the role played by Egypt during the treatment of the military chief.
Kiir described the deceased as a national symbol of those who made great sacrifices for the freedom and stability of South Sudan.
The occasion was witnessed by countless of mourners from different walks of life inside and worldwide.