By Oyet Nathaniel Pierino
Writing to response to the latest Press Release by the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE), dated, 27/1/2021; entitled “Breaking the Silence.”
The JCE was formed by some Politicians from Jieng community shortly after the independence with a mission to promote Dinka nationalism in South Sudan. The group has now written, distancing themselves from the political situations in South Sudan (2013-2021), dismissing the Revitalised Agreement (2018) and seeking to replace it with the National Dialogue Reports and its Cover Letter.
Incepted at the dawn of independence, the JCE ideologues emerged within the Transitional National Legislature, the Judiciary and the Executive arm of Government to influence, advice, direct and execute the day today politics and policies of the Government.
Pursuant to its mission, strategically the JCE whose membership overlapped with membership of government, comprise well placed very senior officials of Jieng descents in the Parliament, the Executive and the Judiciary of South Sudan and they included but not limited to those politicians who signed the latest press release dated 27/1/2021.
Today, as a result of the activities of JCE, pursuing Dinka nationalism and community interest, within the politics and governance of the country, South Sudan has been Balkanized, polarized and divided along tribal, ethnic and regional lines, a situation that pose existential threats to the very foundations of the country.
The miseries of the country and of its population; the collapse of state and government etc are the spinoff of the politics of JCE and their accomplices to divide and unilaterally rule the country without regards to development and to the exclusion of the other sixty three (63) tribes inhabiting South Sudan.
The JCE turned itself into an exclusive opportunist violent capitalist regime and attempted to build an exclusive system that; condoned corruption and encouraged impunity, evidently, failure to arrest and prosecute corrupt government officials who also happened to be members of JCE themselves; promoted tribalism and nepotism in public service, hence depriving and limiting opportunities to members of other communities, promoted ideology of majoritarianism and marginalization of other sections and communities, promoted centralizations of power and resources in few hands and impoverishing the bulk population of South Sudan including those of Dinka descents, and a system that conspired with foreign, individuals, agents and governments to undermine the independence and territorial integrity of the country; by promoting personal and private international relations, looting and repatriating the wealth of the country to foreign capitals etc.
the JCE inadvertently, compromised the sovereignty of South Sudan and the Security of the country. Consequently, from 2012, South Sudan maintains its lead as the world’s most fragile country and a “Fail State”; majority of its population are food insecure, and lagging 30 years behind the Eastern and Central Africans Countries in terms of illiteracy.
Notwithstanding the destabilizing politics and bringing the country to its knees, the JCE and its associates are not seeking to bridge the gaps but continue to undermine prospects for peace and every efforts to bring peace to the country. They are trapped in a logic of escape and denials of justice and protection of unsustainable narrow political and economic interests and gains they attained in the past few years.
Moreover, the perceived gains by the JCE come with very high price; including reckoning with the consciousness of the rest of South Sudanese, attained over the years during confrontations with conservative patrimonial Khartoum based regimes and political forces which they rightly quoted in their letter, the political and military resistance by the bulk of South Sudanese of a system or tendency to exclude and marginalized others in the country, the large scale destructions and atrocities committed as a result of civil war that was born out of their policy, the threat of prosecutions of war criminals and continued international isolation and lost of legitimacy and finally assets recovery by the people of South Sudan and international sanctions and arms embargo are some of the questions that the members of JCE are grappling with. It’s these that inform their decision to dismiss any peace Agreement as they have put it in their press release, “the 2018 R-ARCSS is far worst than the 2015 ARCSS…. adding that it has “failed” to.
To a large extent, President Salva is a creature and a victim of JCE. They exploited him to get power and wealth. He doesn’t control them anymore and therefore, they do not need him. Having taken over the leadership of ruling SPLM and Southern Sudan in 2005, he was the symbol of unity of that party and the Country, the fountains of honor of the Republic. JCE ransacked and dashed these qualities. Where is the unity now and where is the honor? He is a president to some people and to others he is not especially if there was no Agreement of which the JCE has already dismissed. The JCE has also endorsed the Report of the National Dialogue and its controversial Cover Letter that calls for President Salva Kiir to step aside, because he has failed.
Apparently, President Salva is protected by the Peace Agreement, the Agreement confirms him as the incumbent President of the Republic and gives him 3 year term in office. As per the reports of National Dialogue, he is dismissed. The Agreement is superior to the content and resolutions of the National Dialogue.
The Agreement has taken legal effects after incorporation into the TCRSS 2011 (as amended). The terms of the Agreement prevails over any law or contrary texts in the event of any inconsistencies. I couldn’t see how the resolutions of National Dialogue would override the RARCISS (2018) and catch up with the President. Nonetheless, the people who attended the National Dialogue processes have spoken their minds. It’s worth taking note.
The JCE comprising some of the renown lawyers and politicians in the country are cognizant that the President will loose his immunity and becomes illegitimate only outside the Agreement. And therefore, are seeking to dismantle the Agreements yet again.
We are cognizant of the links and influence of the members of JCE on J1 politics and Bilpam, the SSPDF General Headquarters and remain seized of this development.
Nathaniel Oyet Pierino, is a senior member of the SPLM-IO and representative of the SPLM-IO at the National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC). He can be reached via Email: email@example.com
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