The Unforgettable Hero: Uncle Andrew Wieu Riak

By Santino Aniek,

Andrew Wieu Riak's funeral in Baliet County, Upper Nile state, South Sudan(Photo: Nyamilepedia)

Andrew Wieu Riak’s funeral in Baliet County, Upper Nile state, South Sudan(Photo: Nyamilepedia)

April 30, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — The entire South Sudanese people will never forget you Uncle Andrew Wieu Riak and your legacy, your services to your people; a man who dedicated his entire live nearly one hundred years to serve his people. I, like many others in South Sudan and in Old Sudan where uncle Andrew tirelessly had worked for nearly hundred years, knew him as one of the greater leader in South Sudan, particularly in Greater Apadang of the world, he was a teacher, he was a leader, and above all, he was a friend to me and he has done so much to be remember. One of the most remarkable things about Uncle Andrew was his sense of being South Sudanese; he wants South Sudanese people to be free from Khartoum regime’s rule.

Education: Diploma, Khartoum University, Sudan, 1954; LLD, Wheaton College, Illinois, 1977; Master of Arts in Political Science, American University, Washington, 1978; Postgrad, American University, Washington, 1978.

Career: Member treasury staff Province Administration, Malakal, 1951; police professional, administrator Province Police, 1951; field administrator Western Nuer District, Bentiu, Sudan, 1952—1953; administrator school law Khartoum University College, 1954; administrator officer Bor District Administration, Sudan, 1954—1955, Western Darfur District, Zelinge, Sudan, 1956; assistant district commissioner Lakes District, Kumbek, Sudan, 1957—1958, Dar Hamar District, Nahud, Sudan, 1959—1961; assistant local government Kasala Province, Sudan, 1962; inspector local government Northern Region Administration, Marowe, Sudan, 1962; retired.

However, this spirit of resiliency and brilliant humor would perceive Uncle Andrew Wieu through more pain in the history of South Sudan and tragedy most of us will understand. Unfortunately, he passed away during the time when our people have been fighting themselves like crazy and he could not agree with those who brought these deaths and suffering to our beloved people.

Though, it would have been easy for uncle Andrew to let himself become bitter and toughened; to self-pity and regret; to retreat from supporting the people’s movement when his own son die in the hand of the SPLM/SPLA, but he peaceful continue to support the movement until he pass. No one would have blamed him for not joining the people’s movement because Uncle Andrew Wieu did so much on the sideline by bringing many organizations to support the SPLM/SPLA and like many other leaders of Apadang who stay behind. Uncle Andrew would quietly told his close friends and relatives that he was disappointed in the movement when they killed Dr. Juach in cold blood and that was one of the reason I know could not allowed to join SPLM/SPLA.

Through the loss of Dr. Juach and his own son, uncle Andrew continuously to be more active and supportive to the South Sudanese people outside and inside the Old Sudan for those who could not speak for themselves. Uncle Andrew’s work was not to champion those who were born with golden spoon in their mouths or those with special connections, but endure to stand up for those who are fortunate to have nonentity. It was to give a voice to those who were not heard in Old Sudan to add a rung to the ladder of opportunity to keep their dream alive. He was given the gift of time in the Old Sudanese government when he served in above mention, and he used that gift to touch as many lives as the years would allow him to do.

And yet, while his causes became deeply personal, his disappointment never did stop him of supporting the people’s movement. He was an invention of an era when the joy and nobility of politics in Old Sudan Uncle Andrew would try to prevented different of community or party from becoming barriers to cooperation and mutual respect others people’s opinion. He was admired by those who knew him and many other people who never seen him, but heard about him and they would love to meet him.  Nonetheless, it seems like everyone has stories, but Uncle Andrew is special in so many ways. He was the father who looked after not only his own children, but also his extended relatives children as well and he always make sure that they have education.

Though, after so many of his relatives lost their lives in the hand of the SPLM/SPLA, it could not have been easy for uncle Andrew to support the movement any more, but he continue to reached out to the leaders of the movement and still gave them advises and support. Those who knew him do not cry for him because of the status attached to Uncle Andrew’s name, but because we love him, he was kind, caring, and compassionate hero who persevered through pain and tragedy not for the sake of aspiration or pride; not for wealth, but only for the people he loved.

Matter of fact, Uncle Andrew was fascinating, a man of ceaseless energies and remarkable accomplishment of many goals in his live who made his name and fortune in politics before having his greatest exploration in the Trinity Presbyterian Church (TPC). I think of Uncle Andrew as a marching in a steady line from a humble beginning onto the World stage. He is still well remembered in South Sudan and around the World. He had done what a true human being can do to his beloved people. He did as much as any man ever has done to make South Sudan a better place. Uncle has left us in these messes, but the greater Apadang of the world are guided by his love and his kindness, we lost him at the time we need him the most and we are missing him so much. May God bless Uncle Andrew Wieu Riak, and may he rest in the eternal peace.

Santino Aniek is a concerned South Sudanese in Upstate New York, U.S.A. He can be reached at and find me on Facebook, on Skype and on twitter @saniek.


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