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Biography of Joshua Geng Khor Patay [1927-2007]

Old pictures at Nasir in 1950

Life history Audio

Life history slide show

Joshua Geng Khor was born on February 25th, 1927 in Weinyath, Nasir South Sudan to khor Patay and mother. Khor’s home village was Buong Akobo in Jonglei State South Sudan. He died with age 80 years old in Akoba South Sudan on the 10 of June 2007 (where he died). Joshua Geng Khor was the fourth son of five children of that family.

The marital status:

Joshua Geng Khor married three wives; their names are Nyanchar Bol, Nyanhial Puol, and Nyatorah Wechjoak. He has 8 sons and 3 daughters, their names are: Koang, Dobuol, Mardak, Kim, Patay, Khor, Taydor, Jechlat, Nyagoa, Nyanchew, and Nyamuoch. He has many grandchildren.

Educational Background: 1945 in Nasir, Joshua Geng Khor attended school Grade 1- 4 during colonial era of Great Britain in Southern Sudan,

Work Experience:

1952-1954 he worked with the Presbyterian Church missionaries in Nasir as a gardener. 1958 he was ordained as elder for Presbyterian Church of the Sudan, whereby Moses Kuac Nyoat ordained as the first pastor in the history of Sudan.

1962 moved to Adura [Thiajak] where they established a base for missionary work.

1963 moved from Akobo where they have to open another missionary station, since missionaries like the society to be self-sufficient they motivate cultivation of the land. As Southern Sudan has got a very fertile land that can be used for cultivation. Moreover, Joshua Geng had a background in this field of work, he was appointed as supervisor of gardens in Akobo. Then it happened that they gathered the products of the work done in the gardens and small plots where sorghum, maize, ground nuts, fruits and vegetables. Now, the local authority and the army then in Akobo, the Arab traders were not happy about the missionary work. Finally they are told never to be using the land again for their self-indulgence.

Due to the above reason, Joshua Geng left for Pochalla where he planned with other colleagues to take measures against these issues.

Military experience:

1963-1972, he fought Aya-nya I the first South Sudanese struggled.

Joshua delegated to DRC, the former Zaire to bring weapons along with Gabriel Gany Juc in 1964 exchanging elephant tasks, Rhino tasks and leopard hides for such weapons with Congolese authorities by then.

He was among the founders of the following places: Thiajak [ ADURA] 1962, Dhaldim 1963, Kuergeng 1964, Pilual Done 1965, Itang 1968.

On July 15, 1963 at Dhaldim that was base of SSLM/SSLA in Pochalla, Major Paul Rout Wilouth was a sworn in office as Chairman of the Movement and Commander-in-Chief of the army by then. The entire army was called for parade and the assembly equipped as well.

Elderly people were also invited to speak both Politicians and Senior Commanders. The following persons were:

1. Philip Pidak Lieth

2. Hoth Thoat Rial Pinyien

3. Thot Lam Dung

4. Ruey Bol

5. Monyong Guandong

6. Daniel Nyang Rundial Chiol

7. Joshua Geng Khor

8. Moses Akuay (an Ethiopian official at Tierguol)

9. Chuany-Nyaang (an Ethiopian) the Executive Director at Tierguol

10. Matthew Obui

11. Stephen Lul Nyak

However, after the speech a black-colored bull was killed. Its blood was mixed with the soil, and more than 800 people by then drunk it. This symbolized “None should betray the cause of the South Sudanese, no matter what for we are fighting for an independent state free from North.” Any one who will betray this would die. Joshua Geng Khor was among the group too.

At Pochalla town where they launch an offensive with only (4) four non-automatic weapons against the police station at Pochalla, this is where he los his teeth and they managed to capture the station on March 27, 1963. They took all the weapons and ammunition, a total of 30 weapons.

Hence he saw action at Barelual, March 1964 where the following persons were killed: Wicay Tut Bon, Peter Pal Gatjok, Peter Kolang Lual, Yiec Chol, John Wiyual, Chuol Lieny Gueat. The following were wounded: David Yat Lual, Kun Keat Nyak, and David Gai Biel chuol.

He saw action at Kolrow on April 1964, where they lost the chairman and commander-in-chief of SSLM/SSLA Major Paul Ruot Wiluoth, and Commander Koryom Tut Weang Khor.

He also saw action at Wunbil on May 1964, where the following heroes were lost and wounded: Guot Rik, Mayian Dau, Paul Puok Rik, Bidit Ruot, Jok Chiok, and Dak Makuac Pon, and Moses Malou Ruot

He as well saw action at Jokow on June 1964, where Kailec Yar Malual and Pal Ditdoc were killed.

Precisely he also saw action at Kuich/Torbar on January 1965, where Puot Kuny was killed and Daniel Koat Rik was wounded.

Finally, the process of peace began in Addis Ababa, and it was finally signed in 1972. “Then we were told to come back to Sudan in order to be absorbed into Sudan’s National army and I was demoted from 1st LT, to LCP by Khartoum government which I was not happy about”. Then he was deployed to Kodok to serving there, and then the government in power demoted a number of South Sudanese as well including the politicians. Sudan is to be run through two confederations, i.e. North and South Sudan comparatively. The North Confederation is to be based in Khartoum; meanwhile the South Confederation is to be based in Juba according to the so called ADDIS ABABA AGREEMENT of 1972. Precisely, there was no good presentation at the Central government for South Sudanese as agreed upon and the so called Self-government in the South was not properly functioning. And, the wealth was fully under control of the North.

Three years passed and there was no change in term of development in the South as according to the agreement. The Khartoum government dishonored the whole issue by throwing the whole agreement into a waste bucket, so “I was among those who staged the mutiny of Akobo on March 27th, 1975. So, I was among those behind the move and left Kodok where I was deployed and went to Akobo in December 1974 to go and plan about this mission there because I knew unless this government is taught a lesson thoroughly the South Sudanese would be slaves forever”. Having learned that there would be another war against the North, he left for Akobo. There was a mutiny in Equatoria, Bhar-el-Gazal, and the Upper Nile region. He was among the brave who took up arms against the Northern forces in Akobo.

Aya-nya II 1975

Late Joshua Geng was part of the mutiny of Akobo on March 27th, 1975, and left for Ethiopia where they established a base known as Bilpam. As the same objective of Aya-nya I South Sudan Liberation Movement/ South Sudan Liberation Army, (SSLM/SSLA), fighting for the independence of South Sudan. We formed how we should run the movement and organize how to fight the enemy. The High Command Committee was:

  1. Benson Kuany Latjor-Captain
  2. James Bol Kur-Captain
  3. James Tap Liah-Captain
  4. Gordon Koang Choul-Captain
  5. Michael Wat Latjor-Captain
  6. Joshua Geng Khor-2nd LT.
  7. Simon Deng Chuol Pajok-2nd LT.

Joshua Geng was appointed as Health Personnel since he has medical background to serve the army and the community around. He was appointed as advisor to Benson Kuany Latjor.

He saw action in Jokow, Malual, Nasir, Maban, Pochalla, and Adar in 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, and 1981.

1982 numbers of South Sudanese joined the movement, those like Samuel Gai Tut, Gatjiek Wieh, Abdalla Chuol Deng, Akuot Atem.

May 1983 the 104/105 i.e. battalions joined the movement William Nyuon Bany from Ayod, and Kerbino Kuanyin Bol from Bor joined the movement as well. And the last to do come was Dr. John Garang De Mabior same year June, 1983. The differences over the Leadership and Causes:

The then joined the movement don’t honor those already in bush at Bilpam in term of education on military background.

They demand for the leadership already at Bilpam to be abolished. The leader must be somebody educated and with military background, the above mentioned conditions by the newly-joined are strict and challenges to those already in Bilpam. So, they finally divide into two camps which were actually on tribe basis.

Those at Bilpam were being supported by Samuel Gai Tut, Akuot Atem, Lokurnyang Lado, Abdalla Chuol Deng, Gatjiek Wieh, but those who would like to hijack the whole process were: John Garang, Kerbino Kuanyin Bol, Arok Thon Arok, Salva Kirr Mayardit, and William Nyuon Bany. Moreover, the first group was separatist while the second ones were unionist. While such view was rejected by Samuel Gai Tut and his group, further big division arise among the Southerners themselves over the leadership. In September 1983 Samuel Gai ‘s group was kicked out by Garang’s group with help from the Ethiopian government. Until Samuel Gai was killed at Thiajak in 1984, Akuot Atem killed in 1985, Abhalla Chuol Deng killed in 1986, except Gordon Kong Chol took over the leadership and swore to fight the Garang’s group. Gordon Koang has strong support from his tribal Nuer and fight Dinka, many people lost their lives and so many displaced as well.

Finally, 1988 peace was signed between Anya-nya 2 and SPLM/A. The Anya-nya 2 high commands, officers were demoted to serve under lower ranks including politicians by the SPLM/SPLA leadership, which was the main cause of division in 1983. Now is change for Dinka to run the whole affairs since God has opened His arms for them to lead the movement for the first time. And, indeed, Nuer suffered under Dinka leadership. Now the Bilpam base held a conference in order to merger the newly join to movement and fight for the common cause of South Sudanese, and the marginalized areas.

Furthermore, during June-July, 1983 were the toughest months in the history of South Sudan geo-political agenda; but for the camps divided into sectional, tribal and chauvinistic lines. The first camp was John Garang, Kerbino Kuanyin Bol, Arok Thon Arok, Salva Kiir Mayardit, and William Nyuon Bany. Meanwhile, the second camp was Benson Kuany Latjor, who was in Addis Ababa by then for treatment, James Bol Kur, Akuot Atem, Gordon Koang Chol.

The view of Samuel Gai Tut was like this, let the Dinkas’ take the leadership which was:

  1. Akuot Atem – Chairman of movement and army, i.e. SSLM/SSLA
  2. Samuel Gai Tut – Commander-in-chief of the army
  3. John Garang – Chief of staff
  4. Kerbino Kuanyin Bol – Operation
  5. William Nyuon Bany
  6. Abdalla Chuol Deng, a view that John Garang didn’t like at all. For according to him, Akuot Atem is not popular among the Dinka in general and therefore Dinka would suffer under him since he has no strong personality both in army and politics.

Whereby the Garang’s view was:

  1. Samuel Gai Tut – Chairman of the movement and army but SPLM/SPLA
  2. John Garang De Mabior – Commander-in-chief of the army
  3. Kerbino Kuanyin Bol – Chief of staff
  4. Lokurnyang Lado
  5. James Bol Kur
  6. Benson Kuany Latjor
  7. Salva Kiir Mayardit
  8. Arok Thon Arok
  9. Abdalla Chuol Deng, a view which was totally rejected by the Bilpam base, SSLM/SSLA. This group is being backed by Samuel Gai, Akuot Atem, Lokurnyang Lado, and Garjiek Wieh. As soon as confrontation rose, Itang was at level four according to the Ethiopian arm forces that was under Captain Asfew.

He ordered helicopters from Gambella to come for intervention among the Sudanese people, and his appeal was turned into deaf-hear. The very night, Bilpam Camp was attacked and set on fire, women and children were killed and so many things were also looted, mainly cattle by Garang’s group. Fighting erupted among the forces and SSLM/SSLA was dislodged at Bilpam and gone for resistance in nearby villages while the SPLM/SPLA forces were backed by the Ethiopians.

In result of this incident, John Garange declare to be Communist, Marxism Leninism which Comrade Mengistu Haile-Mariam was part of it being back by USSR i.e. Russia. John Garang grafts such opportunity and finally won the battle against Nuer Separatist vs Unionists, ever since up-to-date burning issue is among Southerners. So, Joshua Geng Khor was promoted by Riek Machar at Nasir in 1991 from 2nd LT to Captain, and commissioned to work as Health Personnel in Akobo. The patriots’ case since Any-nya I is not taken care of. A number of them are still alive confined in wheel-chairs, walking with sticks, and aged; where the so-called CPS signatories don’t take heed to this plight. Good example is Joshua Geng Khor who recently committed suicide because he has been neglected either being old or not participated in one way or another, the reason is not known. He has been calling only for his pension during Anya-nya I, II war against the North. The reason he lost his life for according to him, he said, “even though aged, let my children have something of what I took up arms for before I die.” The deceased is 80 years old. He was a practical believer, brave, honest, kind, visionary, and a father; may his soul rest in eternal peace.