Wednesday December 13, 2017

The Nuer Supreme Council’s Response to the Chairman of “Jieng Council of Elders Interview”

On February 7th, 2015, the former South Sudan chief Supreme Court justice, Mr. Ambrose Riiny Thiik had an interview with the SBS Radio Dinka based in Australia. The interview was conducted by Daniel Atem Mayuon. The interview’s footage came to the Nuer Supreme Council (NSC)’s attention through an intermediary. Outrageously, the NSC was baffled after listening to the interview. We found the interview inexcusably unpatriotic, tribalistic and unquestionably primitive.

The Nuer Supreme Council felt it must respond to such irrational thinking to ensure peace and/or to garner national unity in South Sudan. The NSC found what the former chief Justice Ambrose Riiny alleged the to-be the mission and sole purpose of the Jieng Council of Elders and what led to its formation an absolute primitive and sheer mockery to South Sudanese nationals’ ideal. Above all else, it’s twisted interpretation of citizens’ role and false claim of protecting nation’s sovereignty and fundamental principle of a legitimate government.

Essence, the Nuer Supreme Council believes that the Republic of South Sudan is not and will never be a tribal entity. On this basis, we strongly condemned in the strongest terms possible the tribalization of the Republic by the Jieng Council of Elders or any other organization of its kind because their proclamations deviated from citizens’ responsibilities.

After listening to former Chief Justice, Ambrose Riiny’s interview, you would agree that there is no indispensable reason why the Jieng Council of Elders was formed but to devise ill motives, instigate tribal conflicts and execute ethnic targeted killing. Sadly, the Jieng Council of Elders’ ill motives were put to work by carrying a mass killings against Nuer innocent civilians of South Sudan on December 15th -20th, 2013.

Further, the Jieng Council of Elders chairman’s interview is an affirmation that government of South Sudan under Salva Kiir Mayardit is considered by non-other than the Jieng as a tribal government. Thus prompted a phenomenally flaw perceptions on the Jieng Council of Elders of South Sudan. It also led to a profound twisted interpretation of nationalistic ideals on their part.

The Nuer Supreme Council’s response to the “Jieng Council of Elders’ chairman’s interview” on these bases is to actualize facts and highlight important principles of nationhood and dispel misguided tribal responsibilities which have no far reaching goals to nation-building, national unity and prosperity.

The NSC likes to challenge these false claims of the Jieng Council of Elders of equating itself as a nucleus to South Sudan’s prosperity. The NSC takes a centre stage to inform the world that the Jieng Council of Elders is undeniable responsibility for South Sudan disunity and accountability for the massacre of 20, 000 innocent Nuer civilians on December 15th, 2013 in Juba South Sudan.

Jieng Council Elders’ Formation

According to Ambrose Riiny, the Jiɛ̈ŋ Council of Elders was formed in mid-2013 when Dr. Riek Machar decided to run as a presidential candidate come 2015 South Sudan’s elections. Remarkably, Ambrose Riiny and some other 72 Dinka disgruntled politicians falsely alleged that Riek Machar stated that it’s the Nuer turn and he must take South Sudan’s top job through whatever mean necessary. In Ambrose Riiny’s terms, either through a ballot or bullet.

“It was started after Riek Machar announced his candidacy for President and said It is turn for the Nuer either by Vote and if not he will take it by bullet. When he was relieved in July 2013; the campaign intensified and that send signals to all Jieng communities in Upper Nile, Unity, Bor and the greater Bhar el Gazal.”

In this regard, the NSC is dumfounded not just by the tribal undertones, but by its sheer untruthfulness because such a comment was not perceived to have come from a man who was once a South Sudan’s Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The NSC can affirm that Dr. Riek made declaration to run as a presidential hopeful candidate for 2015 election, which doesn’t equate to taking the nation’s top seat by force.

Dr. Riek like anyone else in South Sudan has an alienable right as a citizen to contest in any election. Perhaps, for the sake of clarity, we wonder why such a well-placed pronouncement would be considered to have negative effects on the Dinka community alone among other South Sudan’s 64 tribes?

Looking at Dr. Riek’s candidacy announcement, Riek was not alone in his pronouncement for presidential seat. Madam Rebecca Nyadeng De Garang, the wife of late Dr. John Garang, Pagan Amum Okech, and James Wani Iga, all pledged to challenge President Kiir comes 2015 elections. Why was Dr. Riek Machar’s candidacy alone an issue for Jieng Council of Elders?

We the NSC felt the former Chief Justice fall short in his attempt to justify his claim by only alluding to the 1991 SPLM/A split as a cause for killing the Nuer in Juba. Mr. Riiny stated that Dr. Riek’s declaration as a candidate “reminded people (Dinka) on what happened in 1991 when some Dinka were massacre in Bor and areas of Bentiu even SPLA officers who were in the areas of Riek Machar.”

The NSC find this quote misplaced and imprudent simply because candidacy declaration for any election post isn’t armed struggle or a tribal feud, like what occurred in 1991 between the Lou –Nuer and the Dinka Bor civilians.

As a matter of fact, Dr. Riek’s candidacy is not a tribal matter that warranted tribal permission of any sort. Plus, Riek Machar is a retired general and therefore comparing his candidacy to the 1991 SPLM/A’s split and tribal feud that ensued from it was an illogical pronouncement from a man who should know better and as a lawyer by profession.
Further, if the Jieng Council of Elders was formed on the basis of Dr. Riek’s candidacy, it’s therefore logical to state that the Council was ill-founded. The organization was formed on ground of distorted perceptions, aimed to promote hatred and somalization of South Sudan of which the NSC condemned strongly.

Mandates of the Jieng Council of Elders

The mandates of the Jieng Council Elders according to the former Chief Justice Ambrose Riiny were as follow:

  1. To protect our people (Dinka), think together and advice the leadership (presumable the government of South Sudan) on how to protect ourselves as Jieng.
  2. To defense the constitutional government, reason being, the problem started as a coup and turned into rebellion.
  3. To organise ourselves in order to protect the sovereignty of South Sudan and fight against the involvement of other nations such as the United States of America and the Troika countries who meddled into our internal affairs; therefore, we felt that our sovereignty was threatened, national unity threatened, and our life as Dinka was threatened.

Mandate number one is to protect our people (Dinka), think together and advice the leadership (presumable the government of South Sudan) on how to protect ourselves as Jieng. To say the least, this is a problematic and redundant mandate.

First, the formation of the Jieng Council of Elders was based solely on Dr. Riek’s declaration to contest for presidential seat in an election. The fact of the matter is, there is no relevancy between the Dinka organizing themselves for self defense and nation’s election with which Dr. Riek wanted to run for. Unless, the Jieng Council of Elders felt that the Government of South Sudan and its top leadership is privately a Dinka government and ought to be protected by the Jieng and Jieng alone.

The other part of the mandate is for the Jieng to “advice the leadership on how to protect ourselves as Jieng.” This is upsetting because it serve as a justification that South Sudan government leads by President Kiir a jieng’s government which is grossly upsetting and painful insult to those who still serve in it.

The second mandate is to “defense the constitutional government (because the problem started as a coup and then turned to rebellion.)” In part this mandate is inconsistence and misguided because the timing of which when the Jieng Council of Elder was formed and the mandate are irreconcilable.

Further, it is not the Jieng of South Sudan responsible to defense the nation’s constitution but the South Sudan army. Besides, the nation’s constitution is very clear on conducting fair and free elections in a conducive environment. Similarly, there was no pronouncement that the government of South Sudan would be ousted by anyone before the constitutional mandate of its flag bearer elapsed.

In analyzing Jieng Council of Elders’ mandate, it appeared that the Jieng Council of Elders was predetermined to cause melee before 2015 election and then rise to the occasion in defense to what they claimed to be a constitutional government of the Jieng.

Considering the evidence gathered so far, the NSC concluded that December 15th, 2013 incident which led to the massacre of 20, 000 Nuer innocent civilians was a well-planned targeted killing by Jieng Council of Elders. Without preplanned motive, there is no other reason to pre-empt defending a constitutional government when there are no permissible indications of potential conflict.

Third mandate is to “organise the Jieng to protect the sovereignty of South Sudan and fight against the involvement of other nations such as the United States of America and Troika countries for meddling into our internal affairs.” According to Mr. Riiny, “we felt that our sovereignty, national unity, and our life as Dinka were threatened.”

In our view, the organization of Jieng that the former chief Justice referred to is the recruitment of the Dinka militias called Gelweng. It’s an illegal force of 15, 000 strong men recruited and trained by President Kiir through the recommendation of the Jieng Council of Elders to kill Nuer civilians.

To recap, these militias have carried out door-door search executions of 20, 000 innocent Nuer civilians in 4 days in disguise of protecting nation’s sovereignty. More so, the NSC felt that the United States of America and the Troika nations were just victims because they didn’t support a fabricated Jieng Council of Elders’ ill motive.

Following the expressed statement about sovereignty, national unity and life of Dinka being threatened, we felt that the Jieng Council of Elders finally realized that people of South Sudan and the world are too smart to be fooled. The Council in retrospect is now regretting its deceitful plans because its failure is certain.

Why Jieng Council of Elders Should be Held Accountable for Juba Nuer Massacre

On the 14th of December 2014, the Jieng Council of Elders released a statement tilted the “Nuer commemoration of December 15th is a serious provocation of full scale war”. This statement talked more about empty threats which this piece is not prepared to response to than to say such statement serve as prove of the Jieng Council of Elders involvement in the massacre.

Second, how, why and when the Jieng Council of Elders was formed is another unchallenged indication of Jieng Council of Elders participation in the indiscriminate killing of the Nuer innocent civilians in Juba on December 15th -20th, 2013.

What is the Jieng Council of Elders doing to cover up the crimes they helped planned and committed?

The Jieng Council of Elders is undertaking the following:

  • Uttering desperate empty threats for a full scale war is one attempt to cover up, but this is not working and it’s too late.
  • Appointing Ambrose Riiny as the chief investigator to investigate the war crimes, crime against humanity and several brutal human rights violations committed across South Sudan after December 15th 2013. Yet, Mr. Ambrose Riiny is the ring leader of the organisation that planned and executed the Juba Nuer Massacre.
  • Bribing the African Union Commission of Inquiry Chairman to shelve the report on the crime committed is the last resort the Jieng Council of Elders is working one and this seem to be working in their favor. The African Union has shelved report on South Sudan on crimes committed.

Perhaps, this is not new. The Jieng had gotten away with the mass killings of civilians. In 1984 -7 for example, the Jieng under late Dr. John Garang massacred thousands of Gaajaak Nuer in cold blood and got away with it.

Therefore the Nuer Supreme Council calls on the international community and all human rights defenders around the world to condemn and campaign against impunity. Ambrose Riiny Thiik, and his 72 Jieng Council of Elders members be brought to book for devising, instigating and executing mass massacre of innocent Nuer civilians.

Nuer Supreme Council (NSC) is an independent organization and it was founded in 2008 principally to promote peace, justice and to advocate for good governance, accountability, and freedom of expression. Collective approach is our core value to cherish united and diverse society. Since December 15th, 2013, the Nuer Supreme Council has genuinely been calling for peace to return to South Sudan and we challenged all South Sudanese to preach path to peace. For further questions please contact us @ nuersupremecouncil@yahoo.com

 

THE UPPER NILE TIMES

Nuer Supreme Council (NSC)

Is an independent organization and it was founded in 2008 principally to promote peace, justice and to advocate for good governance, accountability, and freedom of expression. Collective approach is our core value to cherish united and diverse society. Since December 15th, 2013, the Nuer Supreme Council has genuinely been calling for peace to return to South Sudan and we challenged all South Sudanese to preach path to peace. For further questions please contact us @ nuersupremecouncil@yahoo.com


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