Telar Ring Deng’s full bio

The late Telar Ring Deng |Photo: Courtesy

Telar Ring Deng is a South Sudanese politician who served as an Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of South Sudan to the Russian Federation. He has also equally presented credentials to several other mission; states key among them the Republic of Turkmenistan, the Democratic Republic of Georgia, the Republic of Azerbaijan amongst others.

Telar Ring Deng was born in Yirol, in the Greater Lakes State in 1956. In his early days, his intelligence and potential were evident and his father elected not to waste this potential and enrolled him into school and led to a blistering professional life during the civil strife within South Sudan.

He graduated from Panekar Secondary School in 1978 before enrolling for a Bachelor’s Degree, Political Science and Anthropology at the prestigious Stony Brook University where he graduated from with top honours in 1981. He further gained admission at Buckingham University in 1982 to undertake a Bachelor’s Degree in Law.

His journey at the university was however cut short in 1984 as he had to join the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) in the struggle for the liberation of the then Southern Sudan. However, in 1993, he returned back to the University, completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Law and further enrolled for a Master’s Degree in Law, LL.M and graduated in 1995. He is currently pursuing a further Master’s Degree in Law, LL.M.

Upon joining the SPLM/A in 1984, Telar Ring Deng was appointed a 1st Lieutenant from where he began his active participation to emancipate his citizenry from the brazen dictatorial regime they had borne the brunt of. As a result of his diligence, a year since his joining the struggle movement he was promoted to the rank of Captain from where he studiously served the movement for 6 years. In 1991, he was then promoted to an alternate Commander for 7 years before promoted to Commander in 1998.

In 2005 upon signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the ranking system changed and Telar Ring Deng was subsequently promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. In August 2010, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and backdated to 2009. To this day, he is still a member of both the movement and army.

In 1999, Telar Ring Deng worked under the then New Sudan Council of Churches as a People-to-People (PtP) peace facilitator. He played a critical role in what is now referred to as the Wunlit Peace Process spearheaded by the church regarding the role of the churches in bringing about peace. He successful held this position 4 years from whereupon he was appointed to head the legal department at Pact Kenya in 2004.

Upon signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 and formation of the Government of National Unity, Telar Ring Deng was subsequently appointed as State Minister at the Presidency of the Republic of Sudan; a position he held till 2007 when he was replaced.

In 2010, he was appointed Governor of Lakes State. In the 3 months he was governor, Telar Ring Deng was credited to have made such a substantial impact that reverberated across the state and his actions incidentally are still felt today. His grace, candour and diligence as the caretaker governor are often referred to whenever holders of the said office perform contrary to expectation.

After the 2010 elections, Telar Ring Deng was appointed as Legal Advisor to the President of the then Southern Sudan and Vice President of Sudan; a position he continued to serve in after the secession and creation of the new Republic, the Republic of South Sudan.

Due to his diligence, in 2013, the President of the Republic of South Sudan saw it fit to appoint him as the Minister of Justice in order for him to spearhead the much needed Constitutional reforms. However, due to his well-documented hard stance on corruption, those considered as the benefactors who pilfered the public purse dry coalesced around individuals behind very unfortunate allegations that Telar Ring Deng did not possess the relevant academic qualification.

Despite getting written confirmation from the various universities he attended, the National Legislative Assembly declined to approve his name as a Minister however he continued in his service as an advisor to the President.

In October 2015, he was subsequently appointed an Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of South Sudan to the Russian Federation with the status of a Deputy Minister; a position he resigned from on 25th January 2018.

Telar Ring Deng resigned from the SPLM in February 2020 and Joined the SPLM-IO under the leadership of Dr. Riek Machar. He was nominated as a member of the Revitalized Transitional National Legislative assembly. He was a staunch believer in the SPLM-IO ideologies’ and believed in this country so much.

Telar Ring Deng has fervently been engrossed in the growth and development of South Sudan. He has played critical roles at different junctures of its young history and his indelible mark is firmly established in the annuls of South Sudan’s history.

The Lion has Roared and will continue to Roar


Biography extended to Thessherald by Telar Ring Deng’s family.

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.