The Jieng Council of Elders, an infamous group of Dinka elders has called on the Ministry of Education to incorporate the Dinka language into South Sudan’s school curriculum.
In a letter seen by Thessherald, the group stressed that “the Dinka language, has become one of the most popular indigenous languages in the country, should be added to the other subjects currently taught in schools.”
“As senior citizens, we urge your office [Ministry of Education] to consider our last year’s request that there is a need to incorporate the Dinka language into our school curriculum. This is an important step and we look forward to seeing this implemented this year,” the group said in a statement.
The written Dinka language is based on the ISO basic Latin alphabet, but with some added letters adapted from the International Phonetic Alphabet.
South Sudan is a multilingual country, with more than 60 local languages spoken by 64 tribes. The official language of the country is English, which was adapted after the country’s independence in 2011.
Who’s are the Jieng Council of Elders?
The Jieng Council of Elders (JCE), is a group of influential leaders, predominantly from the Dinka tribe, who rose to prominence following the outbreak of violence in mid-December 2013, in the capital, Juba.
JCE has been accused of being behind the country’s instability and the collapse of the 2015 Peace Agreement in 2016.
Yesterday, the group released a follow-up statement calling on the people of South Sudan to focus on the National Dialogue, an initiative undertaken by the Kiir administration as a way of consolidating peace at the grass-roots levels.
“The country seems to be heading for another war and as elders and senior citizens, we do not want to witness another bloodshed in the country.”
“Our people have had enough of the suffering and if we can contribute to alleviating this suffering by speaking the truth, we shall have performed our patriotic duty. In our Press Statement in January, we stated that the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) is far worse than the 2015 ARCSS.”
With the exception of South Sudan, the group said they had never seen a country run by six vice presidents and a bloated cabinet anywhere on earth.
“The Agreement has instituted an experimental government in the country with six copresidents running mini cabinets, a system never seen anywhere before. This structure of government is not workable and quite impractical, and it has led to paralysis of the institutions and decision-making processes everywhere in the country.”
In fact, no one feels responsible for running the affairs of the country. Executive powers have been diffused and the President is technically handicapped with so many veto points in the cabinet and the presidency. It should not surprise anyone that it has taken a year just to form this government, which in the end is assured to fail.”