July 19, 2019(Nyamilepedia) — Speaking at a funeral party in the capital, Juba, South Sudan Minister of Health, Dr. Riek Gai Khok, fears that his own people may not accept to bury his remains on his ancestral land one day due to political allegiance to the current regime of President Salva Kiir.
The funeral was organized by Nuer politicians, who are loyal to president Salva Kiir, to celebrate the life of late Lt. Gen. Johnson Gony Belieu, who died on June 28th in Istanbul,Turkey.
At the time of his death, Gen. Gony was a governor for the regime’s Akobo State; however, the people of Akobo refused to allow his body to be burried in Akobo citing that the late General has betrayed them for over 30 years, and killed their sons and daughters fighting for “enemy’s interest”.
The deceased was stranded in Turkey for over a week while his family, friends and senior politicians tried to negotiate with the local authorities in Akobo to allow him laid to rest at home in Akobo but the opposition demanded that only civilians and family members could have accompanied his body.
Mourning his death at a funeral that was organized at Midan Simba in Juba two days ago, Hon. Riek Gai Kok compared Gen. Gony to late Gen. Peter Gatdet and wondered how Peter Gatdet was buried on his ancestral home and his death was mourned by the Nuer community all over the world.
” When Peter Gatdet died in Khartoum, Bul-Nuer alone consulted and agreed to take his body for burial to his birth place in Mayom but when Gabriel Tang died his body was rejected by his own peoples of Fanjak. He was buried him in an unknown location. Now Johnson Gony and Malow Kulang died and the people of Lou-Nuer refused to allowed their bodies for burial in Akobo. They had to be buried here in Juba. I thinks even people like us, myself and Gathoth Mai here if we die today, we will not be allows for burial in our ancestral homes.” Dr. Riek Gai said.
Compared to Gen. Peter Gatdet, whose funerals were conducted in various countries, Gony’s funeral in Juba was attended by a few people, mostly policians.
Speaking at the funeral, Gen. Gathoth Mai said “we are the outcasts” citing that no body want them, dead or alive, in the Nuer community.
The former governor stood with the SPLA mainstream since he joined the SPLM/A in late 1980s.
He was Sector Two Commander, leading government military operations in Upper Nile, before Kiir appointed him the governor of the new Akobo State; however, he was barred from establishing his new government in Akobo as his hometown remain the SPLM/A(IO) stronghold since 2013.