Top gov’t officials pay tribute to late Ambassador Michael Nyang
By Okan Thomas Onyango
Top government officials attended the Late Ambassador Michael Nyang Jook’s funeral at Midan Simba over the weekend.
The government officials who attended the funeral were; the Vice President for Economic Cluster Dr. James Wani Igga, Vice President for Service Cluster, Hussein Abdelbagi Akol, Vice President for Gender and Youth Cluster Rebecca Nyandeng Garang de Mabior, Senior Advisor to the President Kuol Manyang Juuk.
Also present were the Minister of ICT and Postal Services, Michael Makuei Lueth, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hon Beatrice Khamis Wani, Minister of Defense and Veterans’ Affairs Angelina Teny, Deng Dau Deng the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Denay Jock Chagor the Jonglei State governor, and Deputy Chief of SSPDF Lt. Gen Chol Thon Balok among others.
Others were the community leaders, paramount chiefs, friends, neighbours, relatives and family members of the Late Amb. Michael Nyang Jook.
Speaking during the funeral, the Vice President for Economic Cluster, Dr. James Wani Igga said he first met late Michael in 1971 at Juba Commercial Secondary School and he described him as a visionary man and a friendly student to everyone.
“I came to realize that Michael was a visionary man and that made us close friends in addition to the commitment he had, he would do any assignment given to him without hesitation. Michael was very honest and transparent with his work, he was a very patriotic person, a first class nationalist as he continued working under difficult conditions,” Dr. Igga said.
Dr. Igga also encouraged the family to remain strong and urged the colleagues, friends and the relatives to always stand with the family of the late Amb. Michael.
The Vice President for Gender and Youth Cluster Rebecca Nyandeng described Michael as a very brave and courageous man who also kept his words.
“Michael left his job at WFP because he wanted to come and serve his people. He was a very courageous man if he wanted to say something he says it. Michael had suffered in that ministry so much with his colleagues,” Nyandeng said.
VP Nyandeng also appreciated all the families and friends for the support they had shown towards the late Ambassador’s family.
“I really appreciate all those who stood with the family of the late Ambassador especially the President of the republic who had made the whole program possible and quick by approving the money needed for transporting the body of the late for burial,” VP Nyandeng said.
Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Deng Dau Deng, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs extended the message of condolences to the family and friends of the late Ambassador.
“Nyang was an African nationalist who was very concerned about our country and its borders and we are proud that we have leaders who could stand strong with the country in the hard times. And this has been a difficult year for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we have lost five of our comrades in the nations abroad and here in the country,” Dau said.
Meanwhile, Denay Chagor the Jonglei State governor, acknowledged Michael as a very gracious man who contributed in the liberation struggle and building the foreign policy of the country.
“He was a man that I saw in the eyes and I saw the determination that he had for this country, he was comparing South Sudan with the rest of East African countries and in his mind he saw that South Sudan can be a big country of freedom. He contributed in building our foreign policy whereby we can be seen by the rest of the world,” Denay said.
“Let’s join hands whether you are a government official or not, I ask all of us to remember his family and stand always with them,” Denay added.
The Late Amb. Michael Nyang upheld a positive spirit, integrity, dedication and high level of professionalism in his life. He was also an outstanding diplomat and a gracious interlocutor with a diplomatic corps.
In 1984 with his dedicated efforts, he joined the SPLA/SPLM, graduated and commissioned as Officer in Shield two (2) in the same year. He trained with Muormuor Division in 1985 and in 1987, he assisted in establishing the Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Association (SRRA) which acted as SPLA humanitarian wing. He was sent to Cuba for training as Political Commissioner in 1988 and in 1990, he was commissioned to 1st Lt and became commander and later seconded by the SPPLA/SPLM to work as a representative for WHO in1990. He fought and served in many parts of Southern Sudan including Kajo Keji and Yei. He was also one of the officers who established Narus as a field Centre for the SPLA. In 1994, he was appointed as Deputy Secretary for the committee organizing SPLM/SPLA First Convention.
Late Amb. Michael was born on 1st January 1954 and his untimely death occurred on 22nd October 2020 in Nairobi, Kenya.