March 2, 2017 (JUBA) - The Jieng (Dinka) Council of Elders (JCE) has denied being a shadow cabinet advising President Salva Kiir on national matters but pledged to support the independence of South Sudan.
- Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey (Facebook)
“For those so far misled to believe that the JCE (Jieng Council of Elders) is the main advisory board to President Salva Kiir Mayardit in the governance of South Sudan, we sincerely and honestly tell them that we are not any nearer to President Salva”, writes Aldo Ajou Akuey, a leading member of the group on his Facebook page.
Social media and outlets are full of stories about the JCE’s role in the country. All the major decisions taken by the tribal body and then brought to the cabinet meeting for a formal endorsement, say detractors.
However, Akuey who is the chairperson of legal and constitutional affairs at the council of state denied the self-appointed tribal group of veteran politicians was close to president Kiir.
“For those so far misled to believe that the JCE is the main advisory board to President Salva Kiir Mayardit in the governance of South Sudan, we sincerely and honestly tell them that we are not any nearer to President Salva,” he said.
The official argued the legitimacy of Salva Kiir as the President of South Sudan emanates from his struggle for the liberation of the country not from his affiliation to the Dinka tribe.
“He was not built or elected by the Dinka community alone. If there is anything in common between Salva and JCE, it is the fact that Salva is a Dinka by birth and the Chairman of the SPLM to which our group is affiliated by merits of the final liberation of our country and ourselves as individuals and as a nationality,” he said
However, Akuey stressed that the JCE as an ethnic entity supports the existence South Sudan as a free sovereign nation.
“We have the right to protect, preserve and uphold the ultimate Liberation’s achievements of the Sovereign Republic of South Sudan. The JCE has sworn not to let down the "independence and sovereignty" as the fundamental achievement of the 21st century (all the way from 1899 to 2005).
"We will not agree with any traitors whose mission is to temper with the freedoms and rights of our nation", he added.