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South Sudan: Kiir Assures Gen Alfred Akwoch’s Children of Gov’t Support

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President Salva Kiir addressing mourners during the burial of late Alfred Akwoch in Juba on Tuesday

President Salva Kiir has promised support to the children and grandchildren of late Lt. Gen. Alfred Akwoch.

Kiir made the call on Tuesday during the state burial of Lt. Gen Alfred Akwoch, a veteran liberator who passed on in Kampala, Uganda last Friday.

Late Alfred Akwoch is survived by 21 children, 5 wives, and 52 grandchildren.

President Kiir said his government will be open to them whenever they knock at his door for help.

“As for the family of Alfred Akwoch there is nothing, we can give you, but the children you have, whether Alfred’s children or grandchildren, you must count on us all,” President Kiir said.

“Any time, you come to knock on the door, so that we make these children become great children again like their father and like their grandfather.”

President Kiir described Alfred Akwoch as a ‘friendly’ person, saying he had stayed with Alfred for a long time.

“I have stayed with Alfred for a long time under very difficult conditions.”

The president says he used to share a small tukul [grass-thatched house] with Alfred. He said the two used to look after one another when there was nothing or little to eat.

“Imagine, during massive flooding, we would just wake up from our sleep every morning, use flood water under our beds to watch our faces, and walk out.”

“We were living a comfortable life, between me and Alfred Akwoch, whenever he got his money, he would buy something and share it with me. Same with me, whenever I get my money, I will buy something and share it with Alfred.”

Kiir stated during the burial that the formation of SPLM/A was not easy.

“The establishment of SPLM/A was not easy because there was hunger. If people were not committed during the liberation struggle, we wouldn’t have reached this far.”

The president says two of them [Kiir and Alfred] successfully help organized recruits, 104, and 105 battalions.

“We were taken from military camps to training camps and were assigned by Dr. John Garang, Kerbino Kuanyin, and William Nyuon, to organize new recruits for training, as well as the organization of 104, and 105 battalions.”

Akwoch, a veteran in the struggle for independence, died at the age of 77.

He was born in 1945 in Bodh village of Lul Payam in the Upper Nile state.

In 1964, General Akwoch interrupted his studies to join a Nya-Nya 1 movement.

When Anya Nya 1 ended, he became a teacher and taught in various schools before being assigned the role of the Ministry of Wildlife.

In his wildlife career, he served in Rumbek, Yirol, Kapoeta, Mangala, and Bor among others.

General Alfred Akwoch was among the first soldiers who fought at the onset of the SPLM/SPLA on May 16, 1983.

His burial at the Simba Square in Juba was also attended by First Vice President, Riek Machar and Vice President Rebecca Nyandeng, among other senior government officials and army generals.

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