JUBA – A Society according to Oxford dictionary is defined, although not limited to, as “a highly structured system of human organizationfor large scale community living that normally furnishes protection, continuity, security, and a national identity for its members”.
Through human history, societies of various cultures and identities have thrived and some have, conspicuously, gone extinct. In their attempts to foster protection and or security to their subjects, societies, more often than not, find themselves at crossroads: times when sturdy decisions have to be taken. The outcomes to some of the judgments made at crossroads fall at the mercy of probability. Societies can succeed, others can make it through rough patches, while others can terribly fail after undertaking decisions embellished with uncertainties.
In 1986, Sudan found herself in such a scenario. Marred in a civil war that had religious connotations written all over it, the Southern faction (characterized mainly by Christians and animists) took arms 3 years earlier against the NIF regime in the North (comprised almost entirely by practitioners of Islam). It was around this time that a man came into prominence for his cruelty and rapacity. In its attempt to recruit people into the army, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement took desperate measures in ensuring that they got their men. Kuol Manyang Juuk, then a commander, was at the forefront in the mobilization process. Known for his malicious or cruel nature, he was perceived as well-suited for the job and boy did he show his true nasty colours.
So in early 1986, a battalion (locally known as Katipa Lion) led by Thon Ayii, who were at the forefront in the mobilization of new recruits, were accused of looting the local folks of their food, especially cattle. After series of investigations, Thon Ayii and Katipa Lion were found free of any misconduct alleged against them. But the brutality of KuolManyang was raging inside him. He was not going to let it slide just like that. He wanted to get rid of Thon Ayii by hooks and crooks. Thon Ayii was summoned for further investigation and this time round, Kuol got what he really wanted. Thon Ayii was “found guilty” of not controlling his troops who were allegedly said to be looting and taking cattle from the locals. He was shot dead alongside the likes of Achuoth Chol (who was his officers and many others) and Captain Anhiemdit Kuol (a former senior civil servant originally from Yirol) in a firing squad ordered by Kuol Manyang. Although this evil act was sugar-coated as being concern for the civilians, the real intention of monster Kuol was his fear of Thon Ayii’s earlier seniority and possibility of outplacing him since Thon was successful on frontlines in all battles.
Around the same time, the SPLA/M was faced by a different sort of reality. The enlistment of new bodies into the army was not an easy process. Families were reluctant to allow their younger sons and daughters to join the army, having already lost older youth generation to Koryom, most of whom were already killed on the frontline from 1983-1985 with almost all families losing at two members. To ensure that the whole process was successful at least, martial Law was introduced. It deprived people of any freedom. Local sports such as wrestling were banned. Chiefs and elders were then forced to select at least one person from each family in order to join the army. Failure to do so was punishable by death. Once selected, the subject was set for a metaphorical “journey of no return”. His or her new home would be the front lines in the battle fields. If a soldier escaped from the battle, his property, mainly cattle, would be confiscated by the SPLA/M if the subject is not found. If his hidings was located and got recaptured by the SPLA, he would be taken to Baidit (Kuol’s birth place). It was here that the escapees were executed usually through firing squad.
As if Kuol’s execution techniques were not enough, another lunatic, also from Bor, was launched into the arena of deaths and torture. In early July of 1991, Jok Reng Magot, a merciless murderer came into play. He carried on executing any captured escapees just like his other blood-thirsty cousin; Kuol Manyang but this time he introduced a rather nasty way of tormenting community chiefs and elders who would not appoint individuals into the army. It is worth noting here, though, that when Jok Reng took over the mobilization process, he demanded, in addition to release of escapees and recruits, cattle. He claimed that soldiers had nothing to eat and so it was the responsibility of every community to make sure that they contributed cattle for consumption by the army. It was this reason, ironically, that Thon Ayii was allegedly accused of wrong doing and later killed. I remember chiefs/elders being poked with needles in the nuts for failing to give their fair share of contribution of recruitsand cattle. Some chiefs whose communities were already depleted of anyone to contribute suffered the most, all be it innocently. They were suspected of hiding potential recruits and or escapees. Many were tortured to death. During Jok Reng’s rampage, I lost two of my uncles in Deng Gak Guot and Deng Guot Kiir (May their innocent souls rest in peace). They were both tortured and eventually died just because they could not provide people to SPLA/M after everyone had already been taken. This is a fate suffered the most by people of Duk and Twi.
When tribal war broke out in 1991 between the Nuer and the Dinka, people of Dinka background, already depleted by the mobilization process, were pushed out of their lands. There were not enough men left to protect their families from Nuer attacks. They eventually settled in Equatoria region of, then, Sudan. Majority of those equatorian settlers were of Duk and Twi counties although they were later joined by other sub-tribes. Their arrival in Equatoria played into Kuol’s prayer book. It, then, became so easy for Kuol to apply the decreed martial law since people were now concentrated in camps as opposed to when they lived in their own homes. In Ame especially, Kuol’s hands got really dirty. In 1992, killing by firing squad became the order the day. Reasons of killing ranged from people that escaped the battle fields to those that murdered their spouses for trivial mishaps such as misplacement of a smoking pipe. Of those accused of having left the frontlines illegally, it occurred to many, albeit after their fates were decided, that they actually did not escaped. They had legitimate permission letters allowing them to get back to their families only to have those letters confiscated and hidden or destroyed. Their final destination: maximum prison and eventual death by firing squad behind Kuol’s orders.
One such victim was Garang Deng Nyok (Garang-Mapet), a Twi Dinka from Kongor; he was the lead artillery operator during the Juba Operation under direct command of Commander Oyai Deng Ajak who has given him a week permission to visit his family in Ame and was expected go back to frontline to lead the attack within 7 days. One day after arrival at Ame, he was arrested on suspicion of having deserted the war and fire-squatted the following day despite his plea to send someone to his house to locate his departure order signed by Oyai. Within 30 minutes having killed Garang, a relative showed up with the very permission departure order, and when this unfortunate news was relayed to Oyai, he became furious with Kuol and postponed the Juba attack for a month because Garang was famous for not missing strategic military targets. As that is not enough, Kuol as well fire-squatted his first cousin Captain Chaw using his SPLA powers and subsequently inherited his wife but neglected the his orphan nephews.
Now, what can you say about Kuol that has never been said? The man is just a blood-thirsty monger. Comfort zone is where blood is spilled and lives lost. After the signing of the CPA and his consequence appointment as the governor of Jonglei State, Kuol Manyang Juuk became both a real estate governor and a figure who sits on problems rather than solving them. You go to Bor town today and see it for yourself. All the best pieces of land, be it their productivity or contours, are owned by Kuol Manyang Juuk either directly or indirectly (through his next of keens). Talk about Murle! They have been a thorn in the eye of the people of Duk and Twi East counties as well as Nuer of Akobo County. He stood by inactively while Murle carried out massacres time after time. I am not saying he had the power in his capacity to stop the Murle. If I were him, I would have suggested that he presents our problems with Murle at least with some level of seriousness. If anything, he vaguely suggested, before a congregation in Gak (his maternal parents home) that the only solution to Murle is through prayer. So when he was elevated to defence minister in Juba, his most left-behind legacy was notorious prayer proclamation while the same Murle continue with murderous nature in Jalle, Pakeer and Ajuong payams.
He is a man of himself and could do anything to get what he wants. This is what he has been fighting for all along. Despite all his failures in every position he was placed in, he had ever taken the honorable path and resign. He has continued to intimidate the folks ad scare the hell out of them. His iron-fist ruling only works when he wants something for himself. It does not work for the good of the general public. In my opinion, he is a criminal. Guess who got really excited when the 28 states were created? Kuol blind followers. They too celebrated when Aguer Panyang was appointed as a governor of Jonglei sate. There is no doubt that it is going to be the same old story in Jonglei. Kuol Manyang, MakueiLueth and Aguer Panyang are made of the same piece of cloth. Never expect any different outcome at all. At the end of the day, it is going to be the same old preaching of such nonsense as “greater bor” and so forth. If anything, the creation of 28 states does not sustain unity. It encourages division and, in fact, more tribal wars. I suggest that we go back to constituencies. We keep blaming Bar-el-Ghazal for corruption. But one thing we do not get is that Kiir Mayarensures that, even his subordinates get wealthier. However, this is not the case with the few names that I have just mentioned from Jonglei. They are hustling to get richer. They do not put people’s interest first. Sometimes we have to be serious.
We keep blaming the Nuer too but in all honesty, nobody likes to be bullied. It is the same spirit that always pushes the Nuer youth into civil or tribal wars. Kuol put pressure on William Nyuon to defect consistently for three months due to Abusha negotiation failure. After mr. William Nyuongot fed up with monotonous accusation he declared himself that I will leave SPLA/M behind and will do it in daylight, not night, and anybody who will confront me will face conquest, and mr. Kuol was not even prepared defend his position in Magwi where captains Ajak Achuek and Chol Atem Dhieu Aleu were killed. The ensuing battles ended in miserable defeat of Kuol and Kiir Mayar and Kiir has to thank his headquarters commander Kuol Atem-Apai for his rescuing his life after he was almost captured with only underwear on. On being defeated at Parakthika of Ame, the butcher Kuol went on rampage killing all the Nuer soldiers in his headquarters including his own driver which I remember vividly.
Kuol Many Juuk is, in my opinion and in the opinion of many others, a criminal. For those of you that are yearning to respond to this article just be warned that I know the man very well. As a child soldier, I stayed in his compound in Agata and studied the man closely. Everything that i have said is absolutely accurate.
Those who want my liberation records released, be warned that I am an honourable veteran who participated in many battles, was blown up by landmine in Kapoeta, was wounded in Paluer, was medical assistant in frontline treating our wounded heroes on spot, and was often assignment for conscription of recruits which I did under direct supervision Kuol Manyang when I was in his headquarters. My hands are clean of any South Sudanese blood. Stay tuned for the record of the next coward culprit, Micahel Makuei Lueth.
Job Kiir Garang Agou (Kiir Agou)
He can be reach @ firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE: the opinions expressed herein are entirely for the Author of this article. The Upper Nile Times have no responsibility on the contents published here.
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