Anya-nya and SPLA war veteran Kawac Makuei has died in Juba after a long illness. He died Saturday morning while receiving treatment in Juba.
He will be remembered for his instrumental contribution to South Sudanese people’s liberation struggle during the first and second Sudanese civil war.
Kawac Makuei joined Anyanya I in 1963. By the time the Addis Ababa Accord of 1972 was signed he had become a major. He was one of the founders of the SPLA in 1983. He was made Commander of the Jamus battalion in the SPLA. In February 1984 Colonel Kawac Makuei led a successful operation into Wathkec, on the Mouth of the Jonglei Canal. In 1986, he inspired thousands of recruits from Northern Bahr el Ghazal who later became Muor-Muor battalion to make the long walk to Ethiopia. In January 1990 the SPLM imprisoned Kawac Makuei and other influential figures in the movement, centralizing leadership around John Garang.
On 21 April 1997 Kawac Makuei was among southern leaders who signed the Khartoum Peace Agreement of 1997, representing the Bahr al-Ghazal Independence Movement for Southern Sudan. The Agreement provided for self-governance of the south during a transitional period when a referendum would be held on the future form of government. It was boycotted by the SPLA. He was appointed governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal State.
In 2005 Kawac Makuei was appointed Chairperson of the Southern Sudan War Veterans Commission by the Government of South Sudan. In 2010 he unsuccessfully vied for Governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal, running on the United Democratic Salvation Front (UDSF) ticket against then Governor Paul Malong Awan.