Chiefs’ Massacre: The 50th Commemoration of the killing of Chief Athiu Madol Anyar

Posted: December 28, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in History, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers, People

By Peter Wal Athiu Madol Anyar, Kampala, Uganda

Customary book, final cover July 2017

December 28, 2017 (SSB) — Today, the 28th of December 2017, marks the 50th year of the death of our father, Chief Athiu Madol Anyar (1910-1966) and his cousin, Chief Malual Khang Makuei, both were from Koch subsection of Jourkoch people of Bor country.

In that doomed day of December 1966, government truck full of soldiers arrived at Makuach court centre purposely to arrest the chiefs who were accused by the government agents of being supporters of the Anyanya One Movement

According to an eyewitness who was present at the time in Makuach court centre, the government soldiers called out for the chiefs and started questioning them about the rebels, accusing the chiefs of collaborating with the rebels.

Court president Chol Adol and his deputy court president Athiu Madol were singled out and subjected to torturous mistreatment. It was alleged, that a piece of paper was found in Chief Athiu’s possession written by one Anyanya commander, asking for court proceeds and food for his rebel soldiers.

Thus, the alleged “Anyanya paper” was enough as a death warrant given that belligerent situation (after Anyanya ambushed a government patrol and the killing of an officer Lt. Zohir)).

The soldiers got their case in Chief Athiu Madol as a prime collaborator with the rebel and he was loaded into the truck alone and the truck aimed toward Bortown.

News of Chief Athiu arrest and torture reached his deputy chief Malual Khang who was at Koch village not far away from Makuach. He was very alarmed by the development at the court centre and he rushed to the roadside to see by himself, what was happening to Chief Athiu.

According to an eyewitness, Chief Malual was overtaken by what he was seeing and tried to call Chief Athiu who was likely tied down inside the truck; Chief Malual tried to run behind the truck, loudly calling out the name of his colleague, Chief Athiu.

The soldiers could not entertain the motives of Chief Malual and they fatally shot him dead around the Makuach-Wermel junction. The truck continued towards Wermel where they finally killed Chief Athiu Madol by stabbing him with machetes inside the truck and dumped his body in tall grass, one kilometre away before reaching Wermel.

Finally, the above narrative is only sufficing the 50th commemoration of the death of the two chiefs of Koch, Chief Athiu Madol and Malual Khang, for the benefit of their children and grandchildren.

The whole story of the events that led to what the historians dubbed as “chiefs’ massacre” needs more urgent research and documentation, given the fact that some people who lived these historic events are still alive and it is not too late to reach them within our Greater Bor Dinka Community.

It is worth mentioning here that the people of Greater Bor Dinka community in particular have paid dearly during the Anyanya struggle in which many tribal and community leaders plus intellectuals were killed by the Arabs, including the paramount chief of the Greater Bor Dinka people, Sultan Ajang Duot de Bior, who was killed with over 24 chiefs in 1967, one year after the death of Chief Athiu Madol Anyar.

The author, Peter Wal Athiu Madol, is a former SPLM/SPLA Commander, former Undersecretary at the National Government in Juba, former state minister and the former Deputy Governor of Jonglei state under Governor Philip Aguer Panyang. He is currently a member of parliament at the Jonglei state assembly.

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is 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 from, plus a concise biography of yourself.

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