Kerubino Kuanyin Bol (Facebook)
Kerubino Kuanyin Bol (Facebook)

 

By: Deng Emmillo Mou, South Africa-Pretoria

Kerubino Kuanyin Bol (1948-1999) was the founding father for the now newest Country in world South Sudan. In the course of his political regime, he founded Sudan people’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and was Part of Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). He fired the first gun shot to resist the Sharia Law under the Khartoum government now (Sudan) on May 16, 1983.

 

Who was Kerubino Kuanyin Bol ?

Born of Dinka Parents in Twic County, Bahr El Ghazal province in the west of South Sudan. He went to a Roman Catholic mission primary school and later proceeded with his intermediate studies. In 1955, he was among the battalion of Southern Soldiery mutinied,  who formed the nucleus of the Anya-nya rebels in the First Sudanese Civil War, which continued until the South was granted regional autonomy under the Addis Ababa Agreement in 1972. He joined the Anya-nya and stayed on in the arm forces after the civil war ended in 1972.

Among Kerubino’s efforts, was the decision to give Garang Mabior Atem Aruei a chance to lead the movement. This decision was to unify a course of leadership, which later led to segregation and misalignment of political ideas and power.

 

Kerubino Kuanyin Bol Early Life

 Orphaned at a young age, Kerubino questioned the leadership of the country in general and felt uncomfortable with the forcibly displays of religious practices (Sharia Law or Islamic regime) in Sudan. This discomfort reinforced him to take part in a peacekeeping force in efforts of having a voice for his people. A choice that will later affect the internal and external political responsiveness of Sudan as well as South Sudan.

 Kerubino’s passion to just have a unified country with freedom of belief was continuous throughout his life. Unsatisfied with how the Sudanese government now the (Khartoum Government) mistreated his people, he decided to take a stand to stop the unlawful treatment by leading the road to an independent country. As purpose - driven as he was, he refused to let distraction or political hiccup between his colleagues get in the way of his objectives.

 

Political Career in Bor town

 The formation of Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in the Ethiopian boarder opened new ways of shared ideas, operating tasks, focusing on strategic issues and mental flexibility  among peers. As a team, it was set to bring the vision that will guide the way and create  a sense of unity. Kerubino Kuanyin Bol 's decision to hand over the leadership position to Garang Mabior, was a step to form a conducive work environment that generates excellent harmonies to break inappropriate tribal patterns that consumed most part of the South Sudanese politics. Later, the transition will separate powers; therefore, encouraging the splitting up of government responsibilities into different branches to limit any one branch from exercising the core functions to fight for peacekeeping force.

 Doubtless, efficacy affects the level of initiative required to act, and trust allegiance could sometime jeopardize a mission. Not sure, about the participatory consequences, Kerubino Kuanyin Bol had an agreedment with Garang Mabior and Salva Kiir Mayar to embark on the journey to Bor. Due to uncertainty of the political nature Garang Mabior and Salva Kiir Mayar had second thought about the journey and decided to stay in Khartoum (Sudan). Impartially without procrastination, vacillation and hesitation, Kerubino embarked on the journey by himself, where he had begun fighting alongside Chagai Atem to indicate the resistance of Islamic movement (Sharia law). The course of action that will symbolise a shift and transformation in a new system of governance against the oppressive and sadistic leaders of her dystopian society.

 In June 1983 Colonel John Garang  Mabior, who was sent to disable the mutineers, instead decided to join the mutiny in the garrison of Bor, forming the SPLA in October 1983. Kerubino, Kuanyin Bol now a lieutenant colonel in the army become SPLA field commander. In 1986, Kerubino Kuanyin Bol due to his intermediate level of education handed over the leadership to the now late John Garang De Mabior, and he assumed the role of deputy commander-in-chief of the SPLA and deputy chairman of the SPLM provisional executive committee. In 1987, he led a successful attack on several towns in Blue Nile province to the north of South Sudan.

Kerubino Kuanyin Bol his arrest in 1987

It all began in Blue Nile and Dajo where he was captured and injured on his arm. His injury resulted in a complication on his appendix. Even though his conscious mind said, otherwise, he unquestionably agreed to have proper medical treatment in Ethiopia. The government of Ethiopia formed an alliance with Garang Mabior to ploy Kerubino Kuanyin Bol on having medical treatment in Ethiopia. They sent a plane to collect him, clueless on their move to arrest him, he accepted to go to Ethiopia's capital city Addis Ababa for proper medical attention.

Upon his arrival in Addis Ababa, Kerubino Kuanyin Bol was taken to a house, few minutes later the Ethiopian Army informed him to go to the hospital. Unaware he agreed to have medical treatment in the hospital accompanied by the Ethiopian army, the army was afraid to arrest him since his bodyguards surrounded him. They waited for Kerubino Kuanyin Bol to finalize his medical treatment and return home to make an arrest. Under the order of Mengistu Haile Mariam, Kerubino Kuanyin Bol was arrested and handed over to Garang Mabior in Boma (1987).

Kerubino Kuanyin Bol was accompanied by Mabior Kuir and Bol Madut, they proceeded to Koi the border of South Sudan and Ethiopia. Throughout his arrest, they took all his possessions including his rings and guns and tried every means to get rid of him through food poisoning but Kerubino Kuanyin Bol was well aware of their plan and refused to eat or comply with their diabolical agenda. He was later taken to Jebel Mukwa (Boya Area) after Koi, he served for five years. Then he escaped through a long fight alongside Garang Wol, Bak Bak, Machar (RIP), Dan (RIP) with the help of these individuals Kerubino Kuanyin Bol successfully escaped from prison 28 September 1991

 

Capture and his demise

Peter Gadet who was given instruction by Garang  Mabior Atem Aruei to captured Kerubino Kuanyin Bol in Mat-kieet in Bentiu South Sudan date 09 September 1999. Kerubino Kuanyin Bol willingly gave in to limit any escalating conflict between both parties. Upon his capture, In quote “Peter Gadet asked Garang Mabior what should I do with him, Garang said deal with him. Ending a political division between both parties, Kerubino Kuanyin Bol was shot, ending his journey in September 10th 1999.

 

CONCLUSION

Kerubino Kuanyin Bol was known for his bravery, kindness, support, ambassadorial courtesies and lover of ethnicities, nationalities and humanity for his country. His outstanding relationship with the country at large still lives on through his children and family. His still loved and celebrated by all who believed in his efforts to bring unity and peace in the South Sudan. We honour him for the courageous move he took on May 16, 1983. It is unfortunate he did not live on to taste the fruit of his labour.

Kerubino’s political journey teaches us that division of power can either make you or break you. The structure of abuse of power in most African countries is designed to eliminate successful leaders with great intentions to obtain money, property, or other tangible benefits. This behaviour  prohibits future leaders and young generations to stand for what is right. Representation matters and leaders like him had a dream that can achieve extraordinary things, which will continue to be admired long after their deaths.

 

Quotes

If no one wants to fight for South Sudan, I will, even if it means to use my teeth. – Kerubino Kuanyin Bol

My dream was to see a United South Sudan, free from religious persecution and tribal disputes. – Kerubino Kuanyin Bol

War will throw every obstacle at you, but it will teach you to be a man, so believe in what you fight for regardless of the situation. – Kerubino Kuanyin Bol

"Garang Mabior Atem Aruei, the son of my mother Gang Malual Kuol, have you come ?"  Take over the command from here. Chagai Atem, my work is finished: give me something to drink and let's celebrate the start of the revolution."- Kerubino Kuanyin Bol.

 

The Writer is a South Sudanese Citizen, and He can be reached at via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or WhatsApp number +256789439894.

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