Funeral rite of Lawrence Clement Wani held in Juba

Promising words overshadowed the last funeral rite of Lawrence Clement Wani held in Juba

October 11, 2020 (Thessherald)–The last funeral rite of Lawrence Clement Wani Konga was massively attended by friends, relatives, Mundari community members, diverse group of people from across South Sudan and other nationalities and government and religious leaders including His Lordship Bishop Santo Loku Pio, H.E Rebecca Nyandeng De Mabior, H.E Dr. James Wani Igga, Gen. Johnson Juma Okot (chief of South Sudan People’s Defense force) among others.

The program was opened by a word of prayer from Bishop Santo Loku Pio followed by reading of biography of Late Lawrence Clement Wani Konga by Mr. Bush Buse as follows:

The late (Lawrence Clement Wani Konga) also known as Dwanya was born in 1993/Dec/17th in Terekeka town. His parents Maj. Gen. Clement Wani Konga and Christina Samuel Ladu come from Terekeka and Juba respectively. Lawrence completed his primary education in Jack and Jill primary school in Uganda where he attained a PLE certificate from 1999-2004.

He joined St. Lawrence secondary school in Uganda where he obtained “O” Level certificate (2005-2009) from 2010-2013 late Lawrence enrolled in the same high school and was awarded an Advance certificate “A” Level. He then got an admission in 2014 to Lioaning Shihua University of petroleum and chemical technology in the People’s Republic of China where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in petroleum and gas engineering in 2018.

Late Lawrence was a football fun and liked interacting with people from all tribes and nationalities. He was disciplined, polite, respectable, honest and humble.

On 4th October this year, Lawrence traveled with his father to their farm in the village. on the way their vehicle got stuck and two of them left the vehicle for a nearby area. Unfortunately they met some gunmen around Jebel Ladu area who dragged them off to a far bushy area. Among the gunmen some suggested that the boys should not be killed because they are sons of Clement Wani who is respected in the community but the majority insisted. Two of them quickly decided to escape with hope of surviving the killing but unfortunately Lawrence couldn’t as they fired at him whreas his brother managed to run for his life. “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away” may his name be glorified and may the lovely soul of the late Eng. Lawrence rest in eternal peace until we meet again in the kingdom of heaven. Amen.

Bishop Santo Loku’s of the Catholic Archdiocese of Juba

We have lost a very important person in our country at a young age. By killing somebody you are depriving yourself not the one who died. Lawrence is in the hands of God but those who have killed him are restless now. They are running around without peace. We should not allow more blood shed. Let’s accept change in our hearts so that we can be sons and daughters of God. Lawrence is one among many that have been deprived of life. Let us take this among us and peacefully resolve conflicts. In South Sudan we are brothers and sisters. There’s no reason to kill one another.

Dear children of Mundari, stop this! You are people of one mother and one father. It’s a message from the church. Please stop this. Love yourselves. The words Mundari Tali, Central, East and West are not helping.

Is not right for this young soul to be lost like that. Let the blood of this young man strengthen us and bring peace. Our father and mama and the sisters and brothers of Lawrence, you are deprived of a great person but I know you’ll pass throught this one. Let the blood of Lawrence bring more blessings and unity amongst you so that we can be able to build our nation. We are praying that God helps us. We should ask for forgiveness. Go from here blessed and loved. Lawrence loves you.

May the blessings of the Lord be upon you that you’ll go from here blessed. Glory to Jesus. Now that the first phase of prayer is over; I’m urging you to only convey messages that will comfort this family and NOT nonsense or irrelevant speeches.

A/G Chairperson of the organizing committee thanks the congregation and all that stood with them during the difficult moments. Ladu Gubek on behalf of the community. We know it’s a very difficult moment but I urge all to stand strong.

“We should subscribe to the family values of love, unity and showing good leadership” family representative; Emmanuel Gumburi says. Thanks to all friends, family, nationals from South Sudan and the international community for the strength we found in you. It’s difficult when you hear of this kind of news. It was not easy when we heard about this as a family. We were doing reflections with father Clement and mama Kafuki who showed us directions, love and leadership that we should follow.
We have transformed into love and humility.

We are committed to tell people that the death of Lawrence should bring us together, let this touch the minds and hearts of everyone here to see a change. The death of Eng. Lawrence should be used to infect people positively and bring peace in our community and the country. We have overcome a very difficult situation. There’s no need to kill, we reject all speculations around the death of Lawrence. Take the response of the family as the official statement.

Lawrence was at the wrong place at the wrong time. We want to use this occasion to transform ourselves so that we can build ourselves as Mundari and as South Sudan.

Word from friends representative

I met Lawrence in 2010 in high school and graduated together in 2014. We planned to go to Canada for undergraduate studies but unfortunately one of the friends said that we should rather go to China together as good friends. We applied together and went to China. Lawrence graduated first and I graduated last year. Lawrence was so social and you can hardly see him get angry. I saw him getting angry once when we went to Beijing. We were welcomed by Hanafi before proceeding to the zoo to see animals. We didn’t see other big animals except monkeys and other smaller animals. I saw Lawrence getting angry when everyone in the zoo was taking pictures of animals but the Chinese were busy taking our pictures because we are black.
I wish I was giving this speech during his wedding but unfortunately I’m giving it during his funeral.

James Manyang on behalf of Terekeka Students in Universities

“We have lost our brother. Our hearts are devastated because he’s the only one in Mundari who acquired a degree in petroleum engineering. We haven’t heard in his biography that he’s married. Let us join hands to rescue those who are outside there. We are like a vehicle without light. Let’s unite ourselves to see change in our country. Let’s bring peace in our community of Mundari.”

Word from Uncles’ representative

“I greet you in the name of Jesus. I’m not going to talk much but to give a few words. My in-law Clement and my sister married themselves in a peaceful way when I was 10 years old. Our family received the family of Konga in a very good way. My wish was that Lawrence would have been my helper. I want to tell you that the water that bishop poured should bring peace in this community. Anyone who plans to do any evil in the name of Lawrence should go with it. He should not spoil the shadow of my son Lawrence.”

A word from chief of Reggo. Chief Roman.
“We came to the church of Lawrence. Wani Malual delegated me to talk on his behalf because he’s not feeling well. We don’t want this to sink in hearts that something bad should happen. Chiefs should stand strong because we lost our son on 4th of October. Yesterday something happened. There’s fighting in cattle camps and lives have been lost. We are Uncles of Clement. Let all the words Strengthen Clement.”

A word from Mundari Community representative, Mama. Margret Peter Abudi

“On behalf of Mundari Community I’m standing here on behalf of my colleagues. We have been running up and down trying to cool the situation. Wani Buyu and the governor went to Terekeka today along the same issie. I’m thanking God because the holy spirit is in this house. The sons of Clement ran to him in my presence upon hearing the news of Lawrence’s death saying “Dad it’s okay…let the blood of Lawrence be a reason for blessings and peace in our community” I also thank Joseph because he was the one who led the committee to search for their brother but never thought of shooting anyone when they found he was dead. We have been living in peace from Jaming to Gemeiza from Kuda to Tombek. Clement took the thorns from the street. Let’s pick our phones and speak peace to our people back home.

We were United during the time of Clement Wani Konga. Let’s unite and work for peace. Abraham Wani and Lawrence are the only two engineers in the field of petroleum in our community. Let us sensitize our people to refrain from killing. Peace, unity and love for development of Terekeka is my motto.”

Mary Nyiyom speaks on behalf of the Members of Parliament.

“We send our heartfelt condolences to the parents late and all. When a glass is broken we can’t put it back. What I want to tell our youth and people of Mundari is that the blood we are shedding will bring curse to us one day. Please youth stop fighting! We have lost many lives for the cost of liberation and today we have a nation. Our eyes as women are turning blue and black because of tears. Men please have mercy on us for we are tired as women. South Sudan is a blessed country but we are sorry for all that is happening here. We need peace. Let us all go and speak to those people in the villages. Vice President Wani Igga please we need your support to go to our youth to sensitize them. They have guns but we need help. We should leave the remaining youth/ children to help and burry us. Enough is enough!”
“Not more than 3000-4000 get killed in South Sudan every month”

Chief of defense forces, Johnson Juma Okot

I respect all protocols and I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I have two messages for you.

First: Let’s pray for our hero and our great man Gen. Clement Wani Konga so that God can give him more years on earth. They have invested in Lawrence to help the country not Mundari alone. We have lost engineer and a human capital resource that should have contributed to the development of this country. He’s a big brother to us as a region of Equatoria. The pain of this loss is the pain of all these ethnicities. Lawrence has given us two options: sadness and happiness. God created all. God is the only solid king. We are coming here to comfort uncle Clement and the family. May God bless Clement.

We have the highest criminality in the country. Within three months of my service as the Chief defense force I came to know that we have a lot of criminal cases. Every Friday we have a meeting to evaluate the different criminal activities and every week we lose not less than 50 people when we get summary of security updates and not more than 3-4 thousand on monthly basis. From here to Nimule, Terekeka, Bahr El Ghazal, Bor we lose people. I’m a soldier but I also fear to live in this country.

Finally guns must be collected. Back in the days Clement traveled from here to Tali to sort out issues and restore back peace in that area. What are we doing in Juba here? We should all go down to the villages. When Dr. Garang died; it was Clement who came out telling people to calm down.

I was informed that some youth blocked the road of Terekeka. We have dispatched discipline soldiers to open the road peacefully. Who will stop what is happening? you and I should go and stop what is happening. May God bless you because this is a difficult situation.

Vice President Rebecca Nyandeng conveyed her sincere condolences to Gen. Konga and the family for the great loss

“I know it’s a difficult situation because a mother carries a child for 9 months and both parents raise him by investing in education so that he’d help the family and the nation but sadly we have lost him. I have heard of another killing in Sherikat also and others. We must stop all this and embrace peace in our country.”

“We must remove guns from the hands of civilians whether you like it or not”

vice President Wani Igga assures the gathering.

I greet you in the name of Jesus. ‘Madangta Keji na aba’ I’m feeling very sorry for losing this young soul which should have been the one to burry us. That means birds will be the ones to feed on us if the younger ones are dying. Lawrence is discipline and clever because he was brought up in a good manner. He inherited these good qualities from Gen. Clement Wani Konga his father. I knew the father very well when we met in Okaru seminary.

Clement went from Kudule to Okaro and he was very clever and discipline. Discipline is not in the army but in seminary. When you are told don’t pick a mango that falls you shouldn’t do so unless you are told to do so. We learned discipline and work from seminary. We learned digging and sports plus other skills.

I thank God for what he has done. We had wanted to become priests to wear white clothes and be close to God but God assigned us this mission. The boy was killed when his father was going to the farm. We are hungry because we are not working. Imagine, Maize from Tanzania, tomato from Uganda and everything from outside…is this a country?

I suggested to my colleagues in the government that every person before being appointed into the government must plant at least 10 feddans. If you want to contest or be appointed we must first see the 10 feddans.

In 1964 all schools were closed and only Ukaru was operational. Khartoum thought Ukaru was the one feeding Anyanya movement and so they decided to attack the seminary which is situated on the mountain. Clement Wani Konga showed more than 500 people exit when he got a narrow route to rescue the lives of seminarians.

There was a road that would go out so all of us ran after him and we survived. In the night we were all hungry. We heard that Jalaba have returned and that we should go back him. We said we’d get finished in these holes but Clement said I have a torch. “I’ll hold this light and you follow my steps.” Clement tells his fellows who escaped for their lives.

Some of us went to Anyanya and Clement went to Uganda for studies around 1966. I went to Simeon Jada and he said that I was too young just because I was short. I said some of these people you have taken are my age mates. I went back home and to join scouts. Clement and Angelo Butis who’s also tough were coming from Uganda. Angelo Butis; a man from Tali payam of Terekeka county became second person to bring down a war plane in 1969 in the history of South Sudan following the son of Ngundeng called Guek who manages to destroy a war plane using a stick.

During our studies in Egypt we created an association for total succession of South Sudan. I heard Clement became the presidential guard of Jaafar Nimeuri. We went to see him in Khartoum and that time we were already contemplating to join Dr. John Garang. More than 13,000 people from Equatoria went to join the movement and I was given ‘Ketiba Sakus’ or Sakus battalion. We went through Terekeka where we learned that Clement was there. I wrote a letter from Tombek asking Clement to assist us but the letter didn’t reach him in Terekeka. JJ was among the first to go to the bush and later 9 of us were appointed by Dr. John.

Clement received us very well. Dr. John called me and Bashir also called Clement to talk to other groups. Clement spoke well. Gen. Konga was in the Sudan government but coordinating with Dr. Garang and he was given the nick name ‘Black fox’

When arrived Juba, it was Clement who received us. Dr. Garang then appointed him governor for Central Equatoria State for the great contribution he made during the liberation struggle. So he was appointed a governor. I said, Clement you should become SPLM now. “I’m already a black fox and I was a member of SPLM…you wanted me to tell Khartoum regime that I’m SPLM?” Clement responds.

In conclusion:
First, Our boys are dying now as we speak. From here we should go to every Boma in Terekeka to stop the fighting.

Secondly, we should conduct a conference quickly in Terekeka so that people can reconcile and move forward as one people.

Thirdly, If we don’t burry tribalism, tribalism will burry us. We must burry tribalism not only in Terekeka but across the country. It is happening in Cuibet (Lakes), Tonj, Jonglei, Bentiu and in many other places in South Sudan. Our people are dying in big numbers. This is all because of tribalism, cattle raiding and child abduction.

Fourth, We have agreed in our council of ministers meeting to remove guns from every hand of Civilian. Disarmament will be happening across the country. We want to graduate the forces and reunify them as one so that they can help in this process. If you don’t handover your gun you’ll you’ll see ‘El mader bi nyorot’

Finally, we have a peace process that started in Rome with the holdout groups that are still fighting the government. Peace talks are in progress. As government we are determined to bring peace in Rome but because of this opportunity I request all of us in this funeral rite to pray for the peace talks in Rome. I’m optimistic that we’d reach a peace deal in Rome.

Credit: Reported by Bush!

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