Glimpse of History: Maker Jool Deng was not the only Martyr of May 16th Bor Uprising

Posted: November 3, 2016 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Columnists, David Aoloch, History, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

Correcting History: The names of 4 Martyrs who died on May 16th during the 1983 Bor Mutiny

By David Aoloch Bion, Bor, Jonglei state

Martyrs Day

Dr. John Garang, William Nyuon Bany and Salva Kiir, during the war of liberation

November 3, 2016 (SSB) —- The history of 105, the Battalion who mutinied in Bor in May 1983, had been presented or written selectively or falsely for the last 33 years. Some people are deliberately or unknowingly writing or saying that only one soldier, Maker Jool Deng, was killed on May 16th and one soldier was wounded, Major Kerubino Kuanyin Bol Deng.

This historical assertion is false because the fact of the matter is that four soldiers of 105 Battalion were killed on May 16th, 8 soldiers were wounded and 15 soldiers were captured by the Sudanese army. All the wounded were captured and taken to Bor hospital by the enemy. Among the wounded, four were later killed in the hospital for unknown reason.

The mutiny unfolded like this: In March 1983, an order was given from Khartoum that former Anya Anya forces were to be transferred to Shendi in the North. 105 defied this order. In April, Brig. Gen. Musaid Al-Nuer, the Brigade Commander in Malakal, flew to Malual-Chat Garrison in Bor with Captain Salva Kiir Mayardit, the intelligence officer, to reinstruct and reorder the transfer to the North.

The parade of the reordering of the transfer to the North by Brig. Musaid and Capt. Kiir almost turned violent when eight Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs), who assumed the role of ring leadership, heckled and attacked them verbally. The eight NCOs were Sergeant Major (SM) Reuben Thiong Tat, Corporal (CPL) Malith Lual Jok, Sergeant Major (SM) Yusif Keir, Lance Corporal (L/CPL) Mach Nok Rial, Sergeant (Sgt) Garang Ngang Abui, Corporal (CPL) Manyiel Kueth, Corporal (CPL) Manyang Agok Aliet, and Lance Corporal (L/CPL) Herjok Maguon Akuom.

In the event leading to the mutiny, it was these eight Non-Commissioned Officers who were stubborn and agitating while Captain Alier Mangardit, officer in charge of the Company, was neutral and passive. This event happened when Major Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, the Battalion Commander, was in Pochalla.

When 105 were disobeying the orders in hooliganism manner, Brig. Musaid tactically and cunningly said he would take their issues of concern they raised to Maj. Gen. Sadiq Al-Bana, the Division Commander in Juba. So Brig. Musaid and Capt. Kiir Mayaardit boarded their gunship and flew back to Malakal in April.

In May, orders to attack and crush the defying 105 were given from Juba. At that time, Major Kerubino had arrived in Bor with 41 soldiers from Pochalla and Pibor. Among these 41 soldiers was SM Paul Garang Deng better known as Garang Deng-amuor, who later became the head of SPLA Commando Battalion.

At 4am on May 16th, 105 was attacked by forces from Juba. At 5pm, four soldiers were confirmed killed, eight soldiers were confirmed wounded and 15 soldiers were confirmed captured by the Sudanese army.

Yet, South Sudan honored just one martyr killed on May 16th. Instead, the Republic of South Sudan should be honoring these fallen four soldiers as the first martyrs of South Sudan and 8 wounded soldiers as the first wounded heroes of South Sudan.

The names of the first four martyrs who died on May 16th are as follows: (1) Sergeant (Sgt) Mayen Alith Deng from Angakuei (2) Sergeant (Sgt) Deng aka Deng-Sonki from Ngok /Padang Dinka (3) Lance Corporal (L/Cpl) Maker Jol Deng from Adol, and (4) Private (Pvt) Yach Nyuon Yach from Biong.

The names of the first 8 wounded heroes on May 16th are as follows: (1) Maj. Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, (2) SM Elijah Ajang Deng, (3) Cpl John (Nuer) from Pangak, (4) Sgt Gai Duai, (5) Cpl Mun Kun, (6) Sgt Gabriel Gatkueth Bol, who was a storekeeper in Pochalla, (7) Pvt Gatluak Lual, and (8) Pvt Michael (Nuer).

After the defeat of 105 and its withdrawal from Bor to Baidit on May 17th, Major Kerubino Kuanyin was carried out from Bor by his soldiers. However, the rest of the 7 wounded were captured and taken to Bor Hospital by the Sudanese army.

In Bor Hospital, four of the wounded were summarily executed; they were taken from their bed at night and killed. Their names are as follows: (1) SM Elijah Ajang Deng, (2) PVT Gatluak Lual   (3) PVT Michael (Nuer), and (4) CPL John (Nuer).

The fate of the other three wounded soldiers—Gabriel Gatkueth Bol, Gai Dui, and Mun Kun—is unknown to this author and need further research from you the reader.

Among the captured group who were taken to Juba, they broke out of the prison in Juba and one of them was killed. His name is Pvt Guet Awar Ayuel, the uncle to Maj. Gen. Mach Paul Awar, the former director of SPLA military intelligence.

Another soldier was captured and killed a month later; his name is Pvt Garang Deng-yom, aka Garang-Korok, near Bor. He had strayed away and got lost during the withdrawal of 105. He was later captured near Malek while he was trying to trace his comrade who had then withdrawal to Baidit. He is also an uncle to Mach Paul, from Palek-piol.

The names of all martyrs from May 16th, 1983, to January 9th, 2005, are very important to national history of South Sudan. It is the national duty for the South Sudan Government and its people to know their names.

The United States Government and its people know the names of 55,000 American soldiers killed in Vietnam and the names of these soldiers are engraved on the National Cenotaph in Washington DC.

Therefore, can’t South Sudan construct it cenotaph too? This is my solemn question to the liberators, nationalists and patriots of South Sudan to debate.

NB: if you know any of the soldiers whose details are sketchy contact David Aoloch Bion on 0956057491 or paanluel2011@gmail

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing.

  1. Mr Aoloch, you are also misrepresenting the history of first Martyrs. According to your report, their total number should be 11 martyrs (4 soldiers killed instantly on the battle field plus 4 taken from hospital and killed plus 2 who were captured and killed plus 1 unknown). In addition to that the soldiers who were captured and didn’t appear again should be considered killed. So the real number of first martyrs should be 11 martyrs.
    Thank you


  2. Mr. David Aoloch, I think you left out of the important person for them at that time , Mutpaje John Riak Alier , popular by the name John Makaship. He was a gunner for the machine gun 42. Many of them know him but they left him out intentionally. However, I came to know his contribution to the course of action of patriotism to the nation of south Sudan during the opening of Bor Secondary School in Kakuma Refugees Camp, Kenya. Honorable Maker Thiong Mal had talked about John Riak Alier’s performance in those mutiny soldiers of Sudan. He fought terrible in that war of May 16, 1983 and he was a helper of Kerbino Kuanyin BOl when he got wounded. At that time , a soldier with machine gun 42 is the best weapon and great fighter. Thank David for reminding them of what they left out by mistake .


  3. Kur Wel Kur says:

    Aoloch, I don’t want to go into this, writing heaps, but I want you to know that when people talk of the FIRST: First this, first that, what they really mean is that no one else did what they did before them.

    When they talked of Neil Armstrong as the first man to set foot on the moon, do you think that no one of his crews touched down on the moon on the same day?

    For your information, Buzz Aldrin did, but the history only reremembers Neil as the first man to touch down on the moon because he deplaned before Buzz!

    I hope you understand the analogy here. I thought it was obvious.



  4. Maketh Deng says:

    My brother Aoloch,thank for your part of your contribution to the story of 105 about the additional name of Martryse that were left out but one thing that we want remind you and my friend Kur Wel talked about it ,but let me also shed some light is that,the best people who narrated History are the Actors,therefore,when the talk about it,they can narrate it much better,so,when the Mentioned Cpl Maker Jol Deng they might be right because ,might be he was the first Soldier that was hit with bullet and others were just killed later on same day,so on this matter we cant and never contradict for something that we are not sure,and when we do it we alter the History,and what we needs to do is adding more as you added more of those got killed on 16 may 1983,it is much importance that way,everything have beginning and end,therefore,initially Cpl Maker Jol Deng deserved that his fateful day of been the first man to died if so but there is no much debate about it,History is history.


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