Opinion by: Ustaz/Tim Monybuny
Juba, South Sudan
Maj. Gen. Micheal Miakol Deng Anyang was born in Atar, South Western of Malakal in 1942 to the family of Deng Anyang Michar, Thiony section and Nyannhial Garang, Aniek section of Paweny/Ruweng of Padang Dinka in defunct Central Upper Nile State, Malakal. From the entire family of Deng Anyang Michar, Gen Micheal Miakol had eight (8) brothers and nine (9) sisters of whom two brothers and sister are alive. From the traditional setup, Late Gen. Miakol had seventeen (17) siblings from the five (5) households of Deng Anyang Michar.
Gen. Micheal Miakol emanated from the fourth wife of Deng Anyang; by name Nyan-nhial Garang with whom God blessed them with five children: three sons and two daughters. Gen Micheal Miakol was the seventh son in the family of Deng Anyang Michar. He followed the footsteps of his father and became a Deputy Chief at the level of Paweny community. At the level of the family of Deng Anyang; Late Micheal Miakol survived two brothers and one sister.
In his childhood, Maj. Gen. Micheal Miakol was left behind by his father when he was seven (7) years old. He was essentially brought up by his mother, a phenomenon he was proud of and believed to have had contributed much to his personality. Gen Micheal Miakol was initiated into adulthood in accordance with Ruweng traditional culture and norms in 1959.
He was automatically socialized to Micharbil age-set of Thiony section of Paweny within that very year. He belongs to Tak-nyang sub-age-set of Micharbil. Tak-nyang was replicated by all the sub-age-sets of Paweny community and other communities of greater Fangak at that time. It was related to the event, which occurred around that period of his initiation which was more of a traditional ritual.
Gen. Micheal Miakol was a literate man. He started his primary school at Comboni in Weda Medani in Sudan and thereafter proceeded to secondary school. He did branch to Medani Technical institute, where he pursued a Diploma in Electrical Engineering, which he successfully accomplished in 1974.
He got a scholarship for the same course to London but turned down the scholarship because he was disturbed by the on-going civil war of the first Liberation struggle and more importantly on the predicament of his people back home in Atar. In 1964 Anya-nya 1 attacked Chudithar-Atar and the general situation at home was really deplorable, so he felt that he could not go far away from home in pursuit of his education, meanwhile, his community was under threat as chiefs were arrested on the allegations that they were providing support to Anya-Anya 1.
Gen. Micheal Miakol was a married man with three wives, children, and grandchildren. His first wife is Man-abel, Nyannak Miakuac Michar, who hails from Aniek section. God blessed them with seven children: five (5) sons and two (2) daughters out of whom, he survived three children: two sons and a daughter. Among these two sons is Col .Abel Micheal Miakol is now in SPLA division II command in Malakal. Abel is married to three wives with children.
The second wife of Gen. Miakol Michael is Nyangon Kong Arop, who took him to Khartoum for Medication and passed on under her care. Nyangon hails from the Jueny section. God blessed them with six (6) children: three sons and three daughters survived.
The third wife was Nyanaliir Arop with whom he had a daughter with her. She hails from Ngok Luakyak section of Padang Dinka. All in all, Late Gen. Micheal Miakol Deng was blessed with fourteen (14) children from his three wives: eight (8) sons and six (6) daughters. Nine (9) children are alive: five sons and four daughters. Worth noting is that Gen Micheal Miakol was blessed with twenty-nine (29) grandchildren: 13 grandsons and 16 granddaughters
As a young man, Gen Micheal Miakol started his work by preaching the words of God among his people in Wed Medani as Evangelist from the Evangelical Church, Gen Micheal Miakol worked as a civil servant, an Electrical officer, in the Municipality of Medani. After Signing of Addis Ababa agreement in 1972, he worked as an officer in the post-conflict reconstruction project in Atar, Fangak District by that time
Gen. Micheal Miakol Deng was put in a reserved list of SPLA senior officers in 2012; however, he was an elder and very instrumental in Atar, Pigi, and Padang affairs especially peaceful cohesion from within and beyond our borders. Gen. Micheal Miakol ascended into traditional leadership when he was elected as Executive Chief of Paweny Community in 1980.
His election to traditional leadership was a call from the community. Paweny community at that time wanted a pair of Late John Gajang, someone who was literate and brave to articulate the affairs of the community based on signs of that time. With that background, late Gen was able to play a pivotal role in the mobilization of youths to go to schools. He used to move from door to door talking to the parents to offer their children education.
In the history of SPLM/A, Micheal Miakol was the first traditional chief to join. He was present at the launch of SPLM/A Manifest on 30th July 1983. Therefore, he was a founding member of the SPLM/A. Gen Micheal Miakol was among those who supported the idea that the minority regime in Khartoum had to be engaged militarily.
As some of you may be aware, at the onset of the movement-SPLM/A, certain groups of intellectuals and military officers were of the opinion that people shall be residing in hotels in some of the African capitals making political propaganda to bring fundamental governance in Khartoum. Dr. John Garang, our president Salva Kiir Mayardit, other members in their group strongly opposed this idea and opted for mobilization of youth to face the government in Khartoum both militarily and politically.
Gen Micheal Miakol attended political school in Aug 1983 and subsequently graduated in Dec of the same year with the rank of captain. He was then deployed in Jamus battalion HQs under the command of Late Gen. Keribino Kuany Bol. As part of the political mobilization and sensitization, Jamus battalion was commissioned to Upper Nile Region with sons of the area in persons of late Micheal Miakol, Late Gen. Deng Machar, and Pagan Amum Okiech with objectives of mobilizing and prepare a ground for passage of Anya-Anya II and youth from Bhar el Ghazal, Bentiu and Nuba Mountain to Ethiopia
After a successful operation, Jamus battalion withdrew to the Akoba area on the way to Ethiopia taking prisoners of war/war hostages as well as clearing the route which was blocked by Militias, preventing the passage of recruits to Ethiopia.
In March 1984, Gen. Micheal Miakol sustained a gunshot on his leg at Keri, northern Akoba. He was taken to Ethiopia for Medication. After treatment, in June 1984, Cdr/Micheal Miakol was requested by the SPLA command to attend military cadets at War Revolution School.
Upon cadet graduation in 1984, Gen. Micheal Miakol Deng was assigned under the command of Lt. Col Francis Ngor Maciec in Adit battalion with the following portfolios: as deputy to battalion commander; first company commander, and a political commissar,
Adit battalion was assigned to conduct operations in Southern Blue Nile and Maban with the following objectives: To Extend the SPLA Military campaign to Southern Blue and Northern Sudan
To get rid of Ethiopia rebels fighting the government of Ethiopia, to allow the youth from Southern Blue Nile and Maban to join the movement.
The military successes of the Adit battalion against the Sudan Armed forces and Ethiopia rebels made the Ethiopian government gain confidence in the SPLA and its command on the conduct of the war and direction the movement was taking in pursuit of their objectives of regime change in Khartoum. In fact, the first company of Adit under command of Gen. Micheal Miakol apprehended the rebel commander of Ethiopia.
Notwithstanding military successes in the Blue Nile, Micheal Miakol was able to mobilize youth from the Blue Nile and Maban who attended training in SPLA training camps in Ethiopia and later graduated as Maban battalion.
After a successful mission in the Southern Blue Nile, some battalions of Khoryom converged along the Jakou and Malual-goth corridor to engage government and militia forces. It was during that operation late Francis Ngor lost his life and Micheal Miakol took over the command.
When Mour Mour battalions graduated in 1985, the SPLA top command assigned Gen Micheal Miakol as commander of Abushok battalion, and the Abushok battalion was assigned to Malakal area. He was tasked with the mission of clearing the route so that new recruits could travel freely to the training camps in Ethiopia, As a political commissar, he was to mobilize the communities to rally behind the SPLM/A manifesto. To carry out recruitment among the communities of Northern Upper Nile.
Gen. Micheal Miakol had to fight the militias along the way to Adong, Baliet, Malakal, and Melut. At Melut Abushok carried out military attacks against the government forces on the ground. The Government forces were backed up by Warship which was destroyed warship at Thiongrial, a first milestone in the history of the SPLA
As a political commissar, Gen. Micheal Miakol crossed to Kodok to meet and briefed King Anei Ayong about the objective and mission of the SPLM/A. He proceeded to Baliet, Khorfulus, and Atar after accomplishing his mission in Northern Upper Nile.
His meeting with traditional authorities resulted in the massive joining of youth in Malakal areas; whom he accompanied to the border of Sudan and Ethiopia amid military confrontation with Militia along the way. The recruits were trained and graduated as Fashoda, Daniel Chuok, Muzulum, Sobat, and Khorfulus battalions in 1987. Late Gen Micheal Miakol remained in Northern Upper Zonal until when he became Deputy Commander to Manyiel Ayuel in 1988
Gen. Micheal Miakol was a revolutionist; he was in fact nicknamed “revolution”. He framed this popular slogan during cadet training in 1984 “Revolution —Decision—Correction and Solution”. This slogan summarized the main mission of the SPLM/A that through revolution, the minority regime in Khartoum would be brought to its sensitivity to make a decision that would correct historical injustices and subsequently arrive at a solution of bringing fundamental change in Sudan, be it economically, politically, socially, culturally and religiously
He commonly used this term when preparing his soldiers for military confrontation. Such a term had a major impact on his personality for the rest of his life. He used to believe that one should fight for his/her freedom if suppressed since nobody would give it to you being endowed to us by nature. This is the philosophy he used when he mobilized youth in 1983 to join the liberation struggle.
Gen. Micheal Miakol Deng was a role model to the young people and his age set: he lived values, led by example, a charismatic leader who energized people whenever, there is any problem, he was a man of integrity who never desired to accumulate wealth under the pretext of his position. He was not a corrupt leader but lived his life like any common man in society. Those who visited him in his house could attest this fact!
Gen. Micheal Miakol Deng was an inspirer, who lived to create an inspiring vision and setting the direction for his people. He was a visionary leader, who fought to set his people free from the oppression of the minority regime in Khartoum. He was a risk-taking and experimental leader who used to venture to the unknown, for the sake of his people.
Gen. Micheal Miakol Deng was ever conscious of his own identity and that of his people. He used to embrace the philosophy and traditions of his own people. He was proud to be born in his family, community, tribe, and nation of South Sudan.
Though dead, the courageous determination and selfless-sacrifice legacy of Gen. Micheal Miakol Deng Anyang remains alive among us forever. Gen. Micheal Miakol Deng Anyang passed on in Khartoum while seeking medication on 3rd June 2018. Gen. Micheal Miakol fell sick at the beginning of this year. He was referred to Khartoum for further Medical checkups and arrived on 26th May 2018. According to a medical report, the cause of death of Gen. Micheal Miakol was a respiratory system failure, though; the main reason for his medical transfer was a blockage in the bladder.
‘’Hero never Died’’ Gen. Micheal Deng Anyang was a courageous, determined, selfless-sacrifice whose legacy remains alive forever as he witnessed an independent day on 9th July 2011.