(Alhag Paul, South Sudan, JUN/07/2017, SSN;) - The question to ask is: where is the supposed unity of the Jieng? Clearly the so called unity of the Jieng
is something that is held by the feeling that they own the state of South Sudan which is sheer fantasy.
In 2015 Ambassador Telar Deng emphasised the importance of Jieng unity to hold on to state power in South Sudan.
Holding on to state power without smooth unity is unworkable. The fissures in the Jieng community are unlikely to heal in the short or medium term because it involves deceit and spelled blood (sacrificed Mathiang Anyoor for Jieng glory).
Again, take the classic example of Paul Malong whose character is highly questionable, please see, The coin of power: Gen. Paul Malong aspires for president!! (http://www.southsudannation.com/the-coin-of-power-gen-paul-malong-aspires-for-president/).
He mobilised the Jieng youth in their thousands who they (JCE) then sacrificed on pursuit of the illusion of Jieng supremacy. Now he Malong himself has fallen foul of the very Jieng system he wholeheartedly supported.
Was it really worth it? Is he any better than Riek Machar whom he tried to kill for President Kiir? Should this not serve as a lesson to every Jieng that Dinkocracy does not pay?
If Paul Malong of all Jieng can be trashed like he has, who is the average Jieng? Thus, the Jieng should emancipate themselves from Dinkocracy and adopt democracy.
Paul Malong’s predicament should be a lesson to every one – personal safety and happiness can only be achieved in an authentically democratic state of law and order with a government that protects everyone regardless of tribe, gender, age etc.
Anything other than that is a fantasy and bound to fail.
From the above, unless the Jieng are saved from themselves by honesty of their own tribes mate, they are likely to take all of us down with them. I said this elsewhere and I reiterate it now.
So the good Jieng need to follow the example set by Ayeng Jacqueline, Ayuen Panchol, Kuir Garang ,Peter Biar etc but also go further to join their fellow countrymen in the real struggle against Dinkocracy in other national political movements.
How can South Sudan get a democratic government so that finally the people can begin to experience the benefit of independence?
The panellists at the Westminster University meeting expressed hope that the National Dialogue could be the process.
Also according to Sudan Tribune, Mr David Shearer, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General in South Sudan, believes that the National Dialogue will help in resolving the conflict in the country.
“The national dialogue, initiated by Kiir, is both a forum and process through which the people of South Sudan shall gather to redefine the basis of their unity as it relates to nationhood, redefine citizenship and belonging, as well as restructure the state for national inclusion.” (UN official urges “common strategy” on South Sudan’s political process. http://sudantribune.com/spip.php?article62544)
I would like to argue that the optimism expressed by the panelists and Mr Shearer may be unrealistic. It is possible that Mr Shearer may not have seen the letter written by Cannon Clement Janda dated 3rd May 2017 in which he declined President Kiir’s appointment to the Steering Committee of the National Dialogue.
Cannon Janda listed the following crucial points as reasons why the National Dialogue would not bring peace:
1. The decree is very vague on the issue of governance of our country. By issuing the decree President Kiir believes that the process of National Dialogue will end up on his desk for his final consideration and or decision. This is totally unacceptably on the issue of how South Sudan is governed and how the present rulers have drained all national blood and wealth can not be considered a serious process.
2. A credible National Dialogue could only be conducted in an atmosphere of complete freedom. That freedom includes freedom of press to all views of the participants without fear and favour. That atmosphere does not exist in present South Sudan.
3. A genuine dialogue must be done after political process and by limited elected persons with authority to air the views of their communities. Being picked makes every individual only loyal to President Salva Kiir and not to their communities. Such a process is worthless.
4. The country is bleeding. Half of its population is either in refuge in foreign countries or rounded up in internally displaced camps. The other half is threatened with man-made famine. Who is there to dialogue?
5. Finally I noticed the majority of the membership of the National Dialogue Steering Committee are people who helped President Kiir to destroy our beloved country. What credibility is there for such persons who should be arraigned in front of an international criminal court to account for their deeds. Is the inclusion into the National Dialogue Steering Committee an attempt to massage their images. Unquote
Cannon Janda’s views are shared by majority of South Sudanese and arguably he could be seen as the voice of the people. He actually has been vindicated after the swearing in of the National Dialogue Steering Committee on 22nd May 2017.
Mr Abel Alier, one of the co-chair has a murky history in South Sudan.
He is not only a tribalist to the bone and the architect of Dinkocracy, but he is the man responsible for dividing South Sudanese by practising tribal discrimination in 1970s as the President of High Executive Council of Regional Government of Southern Sudan.
At the time he Jienganised the police and unleashed it on the other tribes which resulted into the redivision of Southern Sudan into three regions namely: Equatoria, Bahr El Ghazal and Upper Nile.
The Equatorians fought Jieng abuse of power under the slogan – Kokora. Alier singlehandedly is the person responsible for training, mentoring and nurturing the current crop of hardcore tribalists known as JCE.
It is his ideas that waters the tree called JCE. How can such a person as Cannon Janda asked be credible leader of the National Dialogue?
Deducing from the above, Jieng unity is clearly unsustainable and there is a slow realisation among them that their regime is atrophying. Hence, the reasonable ones are now marching into the camp of patriotism.
President Kiir’s launching of the National Dialogue as a vehicle of deception to rescue the regime is experiencing serious resistance and the signs are that it will flop.
This leaves us with only one viable option for solving the problem of South Sudan which is: a National Conference for peace in South Sudan. Such a conference must not be led by IGAD or AU for obvious reasons.
From December 2013, these regional and continental organisations woefully demonstrated beyond doubt immaturity in handling the problem of South Sudan due to their members own interests.
Countries such as Uganda and Kenya could not resist being partial and evidence indicate that their lack of impartiality has actually pushed the country to where it is now.
In South Sudan needs intensive care (https://pachodo.org/latest-news-articles/pachodo-english-articles/7643-south-sudan-needs-intensive-care), IGAD and AU were warned of President Kiir’s introduction of tribal militia and they did nothing and what we have now is a total mess.
Therefore, the proposed conference should be:
a) held outside South Sudan preferably in Tanzania;
b) inclusive of all the stakeholders and,
c) led by one of the renowned elders of the world such as Mr Koffi Annan or Archbishop Desmond Tutu or Ms Mary Robinson with full backing of the Security Council.
I have elsewhere made the last point in few articles couple of years back. I still believe it is the only viable option left.
Finally, the addiction of the Juba regime to violence at any cost to maintain Jieng hegemony and its failure to listen and seriously take advice from the stakeholders and the international community means that the National Dialogue amounts to a partial self dialogue of the deaf and the blind.
Essentially this is an interaction that will be characterised by ‘unresponsiveness’ to the real national crisis and as will be expected, it will not lead into any peace.
So it is utter waste of time and resource though it will help President Kiir in distracting attention of the world from horrors in South Sudan.