South Sudan’s leaders pay tribute to late Telar Ring

(Right to left) Gen. Taban Deng, Dr. Riek Machar, President Salva Kiir and Dr. Wani Igga |Photo: File

South Sudan’s leaders, including President Salva Kiir, FVP Dr. Riek Machar, Vice President Taban Deng Gai and former Chief of Staff Gen. Paul Malong, have issued separate statements, offering their condolences on the passing on of Telar Ring Deng, Ex-Presidential Advisor on Legal Affairs.

In a statement, President Kiir paid his tribute to his former advisor and urged his family to remain strong and come to terms with the unfortunate loss of their father.

Statement attributed to President Salva Kiir Mayardit

“I am deeply saddened to hear that Amb. Telar Ring Deng has succumbed to COVID-19 related illness last evening. On behalf of my family, the Government and the people of South Sudan, I offer my heartfelt condolences to his family, colleagues and all South Sudanese that are affected by his untimely departure. Amb.

“Telar was a leader and he will be remembered by the people of South Sudan as a liberator and a politician who contributed to the shaping of the political discourse in our country.”

As we mourn him, let us all stand in solidarity with his family, his colleagues and Greater Yirol Community. I pray that God our refuge, in all difficulties will give us the comfort we need in this time of mourning to cope with Amb. Telar’s passing.”

Statement attributed to First Vice-President Dr. Riek Machar

“The SPLM/SPLA (IO) has received with great sorrow the sad news of the sudden and untimely demise of Amb. Telar Ring Takpiny Deng in Juba on Sunday 27th December 2020. He was a nationalist and a true liberator.

“The Movement and the people of South Sudan have lost a great man. He will be remembered for his contributions to liberation struggle, and in the establishment of South Sudan as independent nation. He vehemently fought for justice, democracy and unity of all people of South Sudan. Amb. Telar Deng was nominated by SPLM/SPLA (IO) as a member of the Revitalized Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA).”

On behalf of SPLM/SPLA (I0) and on my own behalf, I wish to convey my deepest condolences to the family, relatives, friends and the entire people of South Sudan for the loss of Amb. Telar Deng. He will be dearly missed by all.”

Statement attributed to Vice-President General Taban Deng Gai

“It is with great sadness that I learnt of the passing on of Comrade Telar Ring Deng that occurred in Juba on 27.12.2020. The late Telar Ring Deng was first and foremost, a dedicated officer who spent his life laboring assiduously for the independence of our Great Nation of South Sudan.

Credited among his many achievements, are his dedicated efforts in serving his country through the various capacities he served in from the SPLM/SPLA days of Liberation to the date of a sovereign Republic of South Sudan.

“By all accounts, he was among those who led successful military campaigns including leading the gallant forces of the SPLA to Western Upper Nile and advance to Southern Kordofan.”

This he did with great conviction, and under the vision of a united Sudan and South Sudan wilthout divisions along tribal lines. Commander Telar Ring will be remembered by many for serving his country with distinction, boundless, dedication and patriotism. His service in the SPLA was characterised by valor and commitment among his surviving comrades. Following the independence of our Great Nation, he also held various roles in the civil service including senior govemment positions and serving in the diplomatic service as Aribassador Plenipotentiary.

He died an SPLM/SPLA(IO) member following the courage of his convictions for a free democratic united South Sudan.

“Regardless of his political affiliation, our country has lost a brilliant mind, not only military, legally, but academically and political liberty. His passing on has not only left a painful void in our lives, but in the hearts of everyone who knew him.”

I extend my most sincere condolences to his family, the SPLM/SPLA (10) leadership, the people of the Republic of South Sudan, the people of Lakes State, and to the Atuot community of Yirol in particular. We pray that God will comfort his family and loved ones during this difficult time. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”

Statement attributed to Paul Malong Awan, Chairman of the SSUF/A

“It was exactly 8: 40pm last night when I received the news of Amb. Telar’s untimely passing. And it’s barely two days since I was informed that Amb. Telar had contracted the Covid-19 virus and was admitted at Juba’s Aspen Clinic for close monitoring by doctors.

“As I knew him, Amb. Telar was a great constitutionalist revered among his legal scholars, a nationalist and democratic idealist. His death has shaken the country to its core, especially at a time when he was involved with other leaders in finding direction for our war-ravaged country.”

While in the liberation together, Amb. Deng and I had had a closer personal relationship by the virtue of our assignments.

We’re also married to wonderful sisters. My wife, Lucia Ring Aduer, and his wife, Arop Ring Aduer, are sisters, making our friendship stronger as great brothers in law, Although our post-independence duties were in different capacities, we had continued to maintain contact and would meet occasionally to reminisce and reflect. In May 2017.

Amb. Telar was among the leaders who swiftly moved to resolve what would’ve resulted differently; he personally kept talking to me as I travelled towards his hometown of Yirol, where he and other Lakes politicians persuaded me to return to Juba.

His death at this critical juncture in the country is a loss to us: his family, Yirol, and South Sudan as a whole; in him, we’ve lost a towering figure in both political and legal leadership, a liberator, a father and a dependable friend. May the Almighty father bring peace to his loving family as they face this devastating loss.”

Statement by Dr. Lam Akol, leader of the National Democratic Movement

In a tweet, Dr. Lam says the late Telar Ring was a nationalist who had never been neutral on any national issue.

“South Sudan lost a political giant in Telar Riny Takpiny Deng. A man who had never been neutral on any national issue,” Dr. Lam tweeted.

“From fighting in his school days against Jonglei Canal through the struggle for liberation to standing up in the face of tyranny,” the renowned politician said.

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