The Position of the Jieng (Dinka) Council of Elders of the Republic of South Sudan on the Peace Negotiations Process in Addis Ababa – Ethiopia
On behave of Jieng Council of Elders,
The Republic of South Sudan, Juba
Nov 7, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — We, Jieng (Dinka) Council of Elders of the Republic of South Sudan resident in Jonglei, Lakes, Northern Bahr El Ghazal, Unity, Upper Nile, Warrap and Western Bahr Al Ghazal states, have learnt with grave concern that some member states of the International Community, in collaboration with some of the regional powers are indulging themselves in local national politics of South Sudan by pressuring for a regime change in Juba.
This is viewed as an interference and propaganda against the norms and values of democracy that respect and uphold the will of the majority of people that popularly elect their leaders in accordance with the principles enshrined in the Transitional National Constitution. Therefore, for the regional and International mediators to encourage and support change of a democratically elected President, Parliaments and governments (National and States Institutions) in the Republic of South Sudan, because some people have revolted, is absurd and an ill-conceived project. The support for military coups or violent transfer of power is no longer a popular notion in modern world politics. It is contrary to the will of the voters who consciously evaluate and freely choose capable leaders through the transparent electoral system after which power is peacefully transferred.
We, Jieng (Dinka) Elders are extremely saddened by this impression and precedence. Firstly, the mediators are busy visiting the capitals of Addis Ababa, Kampala, Nairobi, Washington and Juba organizing reconciliatory meetings between President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the Nuer rebel leader Riek Machar Teny.
Furthermore, the mediators are equating that rebel leader with the legitimate Government of South Sudan and the elected President, General Salva Kiir Mayardit. Will this not set precedence for a disgruntled individual or any South Sudanese ambitious power hungry armed group to stage a violent take-over of power from legitimate Government of South Sudan? On our part it appears as a deliberate undermining of the mandate of the people of South Sudan, at the time when the end of the mandate of the legitimate Government of Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, is only less than one year. This is clearly an intended action to deprive the people of the Republic of South Sudan from giving their verdict in the forthcoming 2015 elections. The people of South Sudan are entitled to exercise their Constitutional right to elect from among their sons and daughters a capable person as President to lead the country.
Secondly, we Jieng Elders across the country vehemently detest the machination of the politics of South Sudan by external Powers in their blatant taking of sides against Jieng (Dinka) community as if Jeing had imposed their son Salva Kiir Mayardit into power over the Republic of South Sudan. Such assertions and negative campaigns against Jieng are not true and misleading! What we want the mediators to know clearly is that attempting to impose on all the people of South Sudan a cosmetic political solution that rewards rebel leader Riek Machar Teny is utterly unacceptable.
Yes, it is absolutely true that Riek Machar Teny and his tribes’ terrorist Nuer white army succeeded to massacre countless number of innocent Jieng people in 1991 and many more after December 15th 2013. However, make no mistake, the Jieng communities will neither accept nor recognize the anticipated Interim Government. It is a violation of the Constitutional privilege/right to elect our own leaders!
Thirdly, ironically the mediators are blaming the rebellion of Riek Machar Teny on the government as due to weakness in the leadership. But this is a pretext to impose their will on the people of South Sudan. They are decided to impose punitive actions including sanctions on individuals in the leadership, travel bans, blocking of bank accounts, and on the nation: oil embargo and introducing the oil for food program as infamously done in Iraq. Due to the high level of illiteracy in South Sudan, the regional and International Community wish to turn South Sudan into another enclave where very few elites are bribed into owning shares in multi-national companies of the western world, while the rest of the masses are left to languish in poverty and disease despite the large oil deposits and other mineral wealth that abound in their country.
There are also others who are aiming to turn South Sudan into another Congo/Zaire in order to remain isolated in jungles without working to realize any development of the abundant resources and communication infrastructure, especially when South Sudan is a land locked country. South Sudan would be worse than some South American countries that are left without development but to only engage in illegal business enterprises. By all means, Jieng people of South Sudan will use all means necessary to challenge this calculated humiliation and to oppose any such degradation and subjugation policy.
Fourthly, we know the value of national reconciliation and we have done it before! Rebel leader Riek Machar Teny even after massacring over five thousand in Jonglei and Upper Nile states in 1991, was granted amnesty in 2002; Paulino Matip with all other armed militia groups who fought for decades against the SPLA since 1983 were granted amnesty and were absorbed into SPLA in 2005 and thereafter. All political parties that opposed the liberation of the South were pardoned because they did not know the joy of freedom and are now participating in the current inclusive government of national unity under President Salva Kiir Mayardit.
Despite these positive far outreach approaches of reconciling our people, in disregard of differences in opinion or ethnic diversity, Riek Machar Teny, and those in opposition have mistakenly construed internal peacemaking, reconciliation and forgiveness to be a weakness on the part of the leadership of President Salva Kiir Mayardit as well as being a simplicity or naivety of Jieng people who allow themselves slaughtered as a price for peace, unity and stability of the country. Those who care for genuine reconciliation among South Sudanese must listen to all points of view and must follow the traditional ways of reconciliation amongst Jieng and Nuers. They should not aggressively dictate their own cosmetic unrealistic notion of unworkable inclusive government of national unity. The incumbent Government of President Salva Kiir Mayardit is exemplary and prototype of real national unity.
Finally, In the name of Jieng people of the Republic of South Sudan, we Jieng Elders want to surely inform the regional and International Community that Riek Machar Teny and his “terrorist Nuer white army” cannot and should not be rewarded with power to execute his “ELIMINATIONIST” Policy. We have learned, from a distance of the horrific and genocidal tragedies of Rwanda in 1994. We will not permit further killings that might result into massacre of our Jieng people. Although the “terrorist Nuer white army” is getting financial and military support from the neighboring countries and illicit economic and military empowerment, we are capable of defending ourselves. Africa and the world at large shall not list Jieng as the second majority tribe to be eliminated in the presence of African and International Peace keeping forces as it happened in Rwanda.