Compiled by Bol Khan Rom,
Nov 17, 2015(Nyamilepedia) —- As planned the corpse of late Hon. John Matien Kuol was finally put to rest on Friday 13th Nov, 2015 in Old Fangak town. And people from different communities in their thousands, joined the Thiang Community and the deceased’s family in mourning (first funeral rites) prayers on 16th Nov 2015. The same funeral rites were also held on 16th Nov, 2015 both in Khartoum and Juba. The comfort ceremony in Old Fangak was also attended by the SPLM/A-I-O’s Phow State leadership.
The prayers were first opened with the word of God by Stephen Chuang Deng, a Pastor, followed by John Matien’s family members. Mr. Tut John Matien and Kuol John Matien on behalf of the family welcomed & told mourners how their father felt sick, a kind of disease which could eventually cause him his life. As well as the support Kuol Joc’s family received from all people who had been standing with them while hospitalizing their father. Mr. Kuol John Matien appreciated the Nuer Community’s members in Khartoum for the good care they received from them, he mentioned Lou-Nuer, Jikany-Nuer, Lak-Nuer, Gawaar-Nuer and Nuer Community as a whole.
“On behalf of our family I can thank the Nuer Community’s members in Khartoum who would denote their blood to John Matien when the need rose to transfuse blood from other people to late John Matien. The people who were giving us those distinguish supports were from Lou-Nuer, Jikany-Nuer, our in laws—Lak-Nuer and Gawaar-Nuer, the rest of Nuer people from Bentiu, Naser, Akobo and almost all South Sudanese in Khartoum. Thank you all, I appreciated what you had done to us, you have really stood with our family with all your hearts and strengths but God has decided to take the life John Matien”.
Kuol John Matien also continued saying: John Matien died but couldn’t stop to talk about Fangak, especially when he reached the last days of his life on earth. He liked Fangak very much and he was talking about it; he died with Fangak in his heart. He even requested us to transport him back to Fangak and died in Fangak. “I am now become weak, I think I will die but I don’t want to die here in Khartoum, Sudan. So if possible I request you to take me back to Fangak where I was born, worked so that I die there among my people”.
The other Speakers who came to comfort the family in the prayers include: Mr. Kuei Golong, Ms. Rebeca Thon, Gatchang Gai Bilieu, Samuel Jok Kuach, Mayiel Wal, Isaac Tut Machar, Johnson Kuol Gai and Pastor Gabriel Gatluak. All the speakers encouraged Kuol Joc’s family with comforting messages, statements and how the family should continue living in God’s faith as already shown to them by the late Hon. John Matien.
Mr. Kuei Golong, a Youth Chairperson who spoke on behalf and as one of John Matien Kuol’s in-laws encouraged the family to put aside the tragic death of their father, John Matien but to re-start a fresh way of coping ahead in Christ Jesus. “All are God’s deeds; God has a right to do everything, so if He today decided to take John Matien’s life just let’s comfort ourselves in Christ Jesus and we believe in Him”
Ms. Rebeca Thon, Fangak Women Union’s Chair-lady, said she was so much shocked when she heard the death of John Matien. “But because John Matien had:
1. Left us wives with children, where most of his children have also married;
2. Worked for his people for more than forty (40) years; he shown us how Thiang, Gawaar, Lak and Pigi County’s communities can love each other; and
3. Indeed among the people of South Sudan as a whole”.
For these reasons, Rebeca said, she couldn’t cry any more now by saying that John Matien was a man of the people who liked to see his people live in harmony and unity. She said, Matien Kuol was from Riah sub-clan of Thiang Community, but there were many people who could sometimes said that he was from Gawaar or Lak. “Matien had successfully glued all three Nuer clans of Fangak District, built strong relationship with Lak and Gawaar. He was from Thiang; thus, who knows the reason why he took most of his wives from Lak and from Gawaar. Perhaps, he indirectly wanted to unite the three clans as we have now seen”. Ms. Thon said, the legacy of keeping the people united must be followed by all of us. “John Matien’s legacy of keeping Thiang, Gawaar and Lak together as one body must be kept alive. John Matien was working for all people regardless of where you come from, whether you are from his father’s clan, Thiang, from his mother’s clan, Lak or from Gawaar where he married. He loved Fangak’s people with all his soul, so all Fangak’s people must maintain a legacy John Matien had left behind”. Rebeca ended her speech.
Gatchang Gai Bilieu, Unity State’s IDPs’ representative who said he became to know John Matien once he (Gatchang) was displaced from Bentiu to Fangak County. He said John Matien was a kind of a man who liked all human beings on this planet. He said Matien couldn’t discriminate the people regardless of race, religion or gender. Gatchang said, John Matien could not sleep if his people seemed to be under threat of the enemy. Particularly the IDPs and civilians, Gatchang narrated how John Matien would days and nights mobilize the youth and command the SPLA-I-O forces to protect civilians from the government forces. John Matien was very keen in collecting from the host community and divided the food for both IDPs who were displaced from Bentiu and other places like Malakal and Juba. “Johhn Matien worked very hard in those days when the government forces were hunting the civilians who were displaced from Bentiu and other places of Nuer tribe. He was running ups and downs only to assure that civilians and IDPs are saved from any external attack. He had had to make sure before going to bed, where the civilians were, was totally out of reach of the notorious government forces”
Brig.Gen. Samuel Jok Kuach (aka Bi-week) said Hon. John Matien was very brave man. The SPLM/A-I-O has lost a man of war, a hero who knew why he was in that position defending the rights of his people. “Despite the fact that he was over seventy years of age, John Matien was willingly participating with us in the field of war”. In his capacity as an active Brig. Gen, together with other colleagues in the rank and files of the SPLM/A-I-O bi-week said they will continue going ahead with a legacy left by John Matien until the last minute when the enemy will surrendered. “Fangak is among our gallant forces’ controlled areas, which we have ever since declared a no go zone. Who will try to come and take hold of this area in our presence, by what mean, where should that person come from and how could he/she escape the bullets of these modern weapons in our hands”. Bi-week is a serious guy in military tactic; he was given that nickname because he attacks the enemy twice a week. He doesn’t allow an enemy to take breaths, once he Samuel Jok (bi-week) has declared a fight to defeat his foe.
Hon. Mayiel Wal, Commissioner, Fangak North County (Lak) who had also participated in the prayers said late John Matien had done a very good job to the people of Fangak in Greater and South Sudanese in general. “All of us we know that Matien was from Thiang community, however, all the good things he had done he did them to all Greater Fangak people including Gawaar, Lak as well as Padang Dinka of pigi county”. Hon. Mayeil said, he and his colleague, Mr. Isaac Tut Machar will work hand-in-hand with the family of John Matien Kuol. “John Matien taught us how to live in harmony and unity with each other. John Matien contributed very much in this war against the oppressors, so because he died like in the front line, the SPLM/A will stand-by his family and children during and even after this war”
Fangak South County (Thiang)’s Commissioner, Hon. Isaac Tut Machar briefly gave comfort words to the family of Kuol Joc and quickly jumped to compromise peace agreement signed in August this year, its implementation and challenges. “Everybody knows what Matien had done in this struggle, how he raised part of South Sudan. Therefore, I ask John Matien’s family to take courage, forget what had happened, and go forward with due affairs of the family, because Matien left behind men. I want to assure the youth and the SPLM/A-I-O gallant forces to take not by granted the compromise peace agreement signed in Addis Ababa as final step to permanent peace. Peace may not come to South Sudan unless Salva Kiir is first put in prison or declared dead. As I see it, he continued, Salva Kiir isn’t ready for peace restoration to our country. So, we are ready to decisively react to anything that Kiir will do with this compromise peace agreement; should he continue opposing, as usual, an amicable way of restoring peace to South Sudan.
H: E. Johnson Kuol Gai, Phow State’s Acting Governor who was in the area at the time said: “The SPLM/A cannot and will never abandon the family of John Matien Kuol for he (John Matien) stood with the movement since from the beginning. Therefore the SPLM/A-I-O will continue standing with the Thiang Nuer Community in general and John Matien family in particular. He also said “your movement, the SPLM/A-I-O under the leadership of Dr. Riek Machar is not fighting for the right of Nuer Community alone but for the right of all South Sudanese people. For this very reason, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, the Movement’s Leadership is more than ready now to implement IGAD-PLUS Compromise Peace Agreement signed in Addis Ababa on 17th August, 2015. “The SPLM/A has completed all necessary arrangements and our advance team is also ready to go to Juba in order to pave way for the Chairman’s going to Juba. Dr. Riek Machar is always stands for peace in South Sudan, so we will all be for peace”. He concluded.
Pastor, Gabriel Gatluak who closed the prayers said it was so important to continue praying and put faith in our lord God, especially in time like this, where we lost our beloved Father, brother, friend and colleague, Hon. John Matien Kuol. “Let’s all pray that God gives John Matien’s soul a room in his holy home in heaven. The life of human being on earth is like the shade of a tree that comes in the morning and disappears in the evening. And let me tell you, it is not only John Matien alone but all of us, who are here, will one-by-one pass away to join our holy father in heaven” Pastor Gabriel Gatluak lamented as he closed the prayers.
Hon. John Matien worked in different levels of Governments for good fifty-two (52) years. He started serving in the governments since 1963 and ended working in mid 2015. He died on 10th Nov, 2015. His last funeral rites will be held after forty (40) from now.
Name : John Matien Kuol Joc
Nationality: South Sudanese
DATE & PLACE OF BIRTH: 1942, Fangak (73 years).
Marital Status: Married (Three wives) & (19 Children Boys & Girls).
Languages: English, Arabic, Nuer, Shilluk and Dinka.
1952- 1956: Wanglel Mission Elementary School.
1956- 1960: Obel Intermediate School.
1960- 1964: Rumbek Secondary School.
1966: Three Months in Service Course,Central Treaury Khartoum.
1975: Four Months Course in Juba Multi Training Center.
1995: Office Management Course Khartoum Academy.
His Work Experience
1963 – 1969: Book – Keeper, Cashier in Fangak Rural Council.
1969 – 1972: H / S /Clerk,Fangak Rural Council.
1973 – 1982: Weights and Measures Office Bor.
1982 – 1990: Assistant Director of Administration River Transport Department Upper Nile State.
1992 – 1994: Director Accounts, Ministry of Finance and Economic, Development.
1994 – 1995: Ass / Secretary General Councils of Ministers, Upper Nile State Government Malakal, Upper Nile Region.
1995 – 2004: Director of Civil Service Department, Jonglei State.
2004 – 2005: Became Recognized SPLM Member, Government of South Sudan.
2005 – 2007: Manager Office of Chair – person Specialized Committee – peace and Reconciliation SSLA – Juba.
2008 – 2009: Appointed State Minister of Education – Bor.
2009 – 2011: Chair – person of Public Service Commission Jonglei State – Bor.
2012 – 2015: Became Commissioner of Fangak County.
10 / 11 / 2015 He Lost His Life.