S. Sudan repatriates late army chief’s body from Egypt

April 23, 2018 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s government on Monday received the body of army chief of staff, Gen James Ajongo Mawut, who died on Friday in the Egyptian capital, Cairo after a short illness.

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South Sudan president Salva Kiir pays views Gen. James Ajongo Mawut’s body at Juba airport, April 23, 2018 (ST)

Mawut died in a military hospital in Egypt and preparations to take his body to his ancestral home in Bar-Mayen village are underway.

Top army officers and government officials upon arrival on Egyptian military on April 23, 2018 at Juba international airport from which it was taken to St. Theresa Church in Hai Kotor area, in Juba for prayers before taken to the residence for family viewing prior to being taken to the military headquarters on 24 April.

The program shows Mawut’s body would also be at the national legislative assembly for viewing by legislators before it is taken to the grave yard of John Garang de Mabior, founding leader of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) where speeches eulogizing him would be delivered by the various speakers.

President Salva Kiir would address the mourners before the body is finally taken to his ancestral village. Preparations are underway to receive the body at home. Top military officers and high ranking government officials would accompany the family and stay with them until when the body is laid to rest at designated site at home.

The South Sudanese leader earlier described the fallen army chief of staff as a “remarkable” man and committed founder member of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A).

“He [Mawut] served this nation with dedication and honour and shall be remembered as [a] hero,” Kiir said in a statement issued Friday.

Although it still remains unclear what caused the general’s death, a family member said he spent months in Kenya before he was relocated to a Cairo-based hospital.

Meanwhile the government has declared three days of official mourning of Mawut and ordered that all flags be flown at half-mast.

Mawut, who joined the southern-based rebel movement in 1983, became army chief of general staff in May 2017 after President Kiir sacked General Paul Malong Awan.

(ST)