Home | Comment & Analysis    Sunday 10 December 2017

Is Jieng Council of Elders responsible for South Sudan crisis?


By Samuel Maker Amuor

Silence means acceptance! It takes less than a minute for one to come across Jieng council of elders’ meddle on national affairs as they claim. Either through social media or news outlets. So, it has become famous in the country and beyond as a group of self-appointed Jieng elders that gives tribally motivated, vicious advice to the President. They are catalysts of ongoing social, humanitarian, and economic crisis in the nation as per hearsay.

In 2013, President Kiir started by withdrawing delegated powers from the former Vice President Dr Riak Machar. Subsequent dismissal of the former Vice President plus two elected Governors of defunct Lakes and unity states and dissolution of the cabinet. It was a terrible political tsunami that was viewed by then termed ‘disgruntle group’ as a permanent demise of their time in history.Hence, it invoked resistance by sacked politicians including Dr Riak. Their political behaviour was grasped, by many nationals as the trigger to the genesis of South Sudan crisis. Others believed that it was Jieng council of elders that solicited the President.

When the peace deal was forcefully signed, the current first vice president Taban Deng Gai who was peace negotiator of SPLM/IO led an advance team tasked to prepare the city for the arrival of their Boss. Before Riak could return, speculations hit media and streets that Taban Deng Gai would be appointed the first vice president should Riak delay. Jieng council of elders was accused by some citizens as the one behind the rumour. Fortunately, Dr Riak’splan torched Juba international airport and straight to the palace as if he was given leadership deadline. He got sworn in as the first vice president and assumed his powers before rumour would turn into reality. It gave citizens a glimpse of hope that peace had finally come to the Country, not cognizant of the fact that it was a continuation of the war between the two factions of SPLM. Plus other group called FDs that is known for its digital duel.

It was just one day to Country’s Independence Day that the guards of two political rivals got engaged in a hassle that left more than 300 soldiers dead in the palace. This dogfight compelled Dr Riak to leave the capital for DR Congo through former Western Equatoria jungle. President gave one-week ultimatum for Riak to report to his office. The time elapsed and as a result, it created a power vacuum. SPLM/IO officials that remained in the capital converged and nominated Taban Deng Gai as their leader to continue with the implementation of the peace deal as enshrined in the peace accord. They submitted Taban’s name to the president and he was later on appointed the first vice president of the Republic of South Sudan as per the agreement. This was again imputed to Jieng council of elders as an actuator of the appointment of Taban.

All aforementioned accusations plus others which I did not discuss in this article were neither assented nor given a damnation by the Jieng council of elders. This shows that Jieng council of elders is caught in the shame of not admitting the role it should not do, and not able to refute the allegations of what it does!!Our president of the Republic has formal, consummate advisors that can offer patriotic intelligence to the president than Jieng council of elders. Jieng council of elders as a community organization, not as a political organization is expected, in collaboration with other South Sudanese communities’ organizations to play a national, unifying, loving and peacebuilding roles among our communities in the Country. Jieng council of elders, you are not influential! If you are as they say, can you prove to us your influence by playing a community leadership role that will foster a total peace in the nation rather than making it political in a way which makes other communities see it as tribal and mischievous to them? Some communities of South Sudan if not all think that what you are doing is dangerous and it negatively affects them.The hatred towards Dinkas has culminated beyond description. If it should be investigated, your group deeds will be found within the factors that sparked this ethnic-based despisement. It’s a fact-free of denial.This is the reason behind targeted killings of innocent Dinka people along Juba-Nimule and Juba-Yei roads under the brand ‘MTN’. Deliberated liquidation of Dinkas in Juba. Our social fabric is almost if not totally broken. We direly need, and not later than now those that can mend it for us and for the generations to come. Let’s call mango a mango and not a mahogany!!

The author is pursuing BSc in Electrical-Electronics technology at Federal TVET institute.He is an activist against tribalism in the Country. Founder of an online operating ‘South Sudan anti-tribalism platform’. I’m effervescent for a tribalism free South Sudan!!! Join us. He can be reached at samuelmuou@gmail.com

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