Kiir mourns Bol as body of former speaker flown for burial

Kiir mourns Bol as body of former speaker flown for burial
President Salva Kiir paying his last respect to the late Joseph Bol at Juba International Airport (photo credit: PPU)

President Salva Kiir Mayardit yesterday joined mourners at Juba International Airport to pay the last respect of the former President of the Council of State, Joseph Bol Chan.

The casket bearing the remains of the late Bol was flown to his home town, Malakal, in Upper Nile State for burial.

Speaking to the mourners at the airport, President Kiir urged South Sudanese to take the example set by the late Bol, who managed to contribute to the liberation struggle as a journalist.

“I call upon all South Sudanese to recall and celebrate the accomplishments of Hon Joseph Bol Chan during this hour of mourning,” said President Kiir.

He said Joseph Bol Chan was a devoted civil servant with outstanding records of achievements during his career.

He echoed what the mourners who gathered at Freedom Hall in Juba said about the late ex-speaker, who was described as a uniting factor at the time the country battled polarization.

On Wednesday, the national leaders, Bol’s friends, family members and colleagues described the deceased as a leader who worked towards uniting all South Sudanese regardless of their ethnic background and region.

Addressing mourners who gathered at the hall, the First Vice President Dr Riek Machar called on the people of Upper Nile State to use the death of late Joseph Bol Chan to reconcile and strike unity.

According to Dr Machar, Bol’s commitment to serving as the speaker of Council of States for 10 years was not an easy task as Members of Parliament are difficult to control in their business and he doubted if some else can do the same.

Deng Deng Akoon, the current speaker of the Council of States who took over from the late former speaker called on his colleagues in the Parliament to support him as he assumes the role the late played during his time.

The late Bol was born in 1949 in Lol Village in Fashoda County of Upper Nile State. He started his Primary School and Secondary School in Upper Nile State.

He graduated from a university in Hungary, Europe, and after the completion of his studies, he worked as a journalist for an English Newspaper in Malakal. He was Editor-Chief of English speaking Al-Mirror newspaper.

The late Bol held several government positions in Sudan including Deputy Governor of Upper Nile State before the independence of South Sudan. He also served as the minister in several states in Sudan.

He also worked in the government of the late Jaafar Nimeiri in the regional government in Southern Sudan. After the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement 2005, he became a Member of Parliament. 

Later after the independence of South Sudan and the formation of the Council of State and he became the First Speaker of the Council of States.