Tomorrow, 15 December 2014, marks the first anniversary of the coup attempt by renegade Riek Machar Teny and the power hungry cronies of the SPLM to overthrow the constitutionally constituted and elected system of our young republic.
We wish, first, therefore, to offer our deep prayers for the souls of all those South Sudanese and others, who lost their lives in this most unfortunately sad episode in the history of our young country.
Secondly, we regret that the investigation that the president of the republic and the commander-in-chief of our national army, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army [SPLA] had set up to investigate that very sad incident in the history of our young country has not yet published its report, for our people and the world to know the full facts of that situation.
We hope that when the report of this investigation is published, it will clear the contemptible innuendos that the enemies of our people have spread around, which deny that there was no coup attempt.
As the Council of Jieng, we want the Jieng people to know that the anti-Jieng [Dinka] conspiracy to demise the entire Jieng community marches on and to alert our people that we must all stand up to defend and protect ourselves from the world that seems so pleased to celebrate with our haters, our demise.
We alone are not South Sudan, nor are we the majority in South Sudan, to behave without regard to others. But we cannot accept that the others can ignore and cast us aside, by whatever means, including the force of arms, which Riek Machar Teny and those who support him have tried time and again.
As a community, we have sacrificed much for the freedom of this republic. Our fallen heroes in the liberation of this country cannot be disowned or ignored by anyone in this world, including those who now believe that they can cast the Jieng aside.
While our young men were falling on the front line of the war of liberation, our women and children were being captured into slavery, because we were on the front line of the war of liberation.
Now, others are saying that we must surrender to them alone, the fruits of our common endeavour. This is not going to be possible, while one single Jieng remains alive.
The hate for Jieng within the South Sudanese community is now very obvious, even to you, the few Jieng, who had been driven by anger and disagreement with the ruling system of South Sudan to join this movement of Riek Machar Teny, so clearly bent on the destruction of Jieng.
We cannot believe that you do not see the danger that is now engulfing the Jieng. We appeal to you to recognise this very clear threat to the survival of the Jieng and we appeal to you to return to the defence of the survival of Jieng and the young nation.
To Equatoria and its leaders, we merely want to say that we have taken nothing from you. If it is power sharing, it has always been us, the Jieng, who have recognised that we belonged together and it has always been the Jieng and no one else, who have always sponsored an Equatorian leader, even in the bushes of South Sudan, even while the two wars of liberation raged on.
It was the Jieng Anya-Nya commanders, who broke away from their own civilian political leadership to sponsor and support the military leadership of Joseph Lagu against their own Jieng leader, Gordon Muortat Mayen, because the Jieng wanted to get on with the war of liberation, rather than be part of an internal power struggle or political quarrels.
It was the Jieng who sponsored Joseph Lagu again, against Abel Alier, a Jieng leader, in the 1978 power struggle in Juba and who brought Lagu to power. Then look at what Lagu did; he turned around to dismiss and arrest the very Jieng leadership that sponsored him to power.
Lagu then united with the leadership of the North, the enemy that he fought, to sponsor Kokora for Equatoria against Jieng. Then came Joseph James Tombura, another Equatorian leader, sponsored by some Jieng leaders to appease Equatoria over Kokora.
Tombura ignored his sponsors and collaborated with Nimeiri and divided the South into three weak regions, giving Jaafar Mohamed Nimeiri, a vicious northern Sudan dictator, the opportunity to abrogate the autonomy of the South and forcing the second war of liberation, the outcome of which we do not regret.
Now, some Equatorians have joined hands again, with perpetual traitors, led by Riek Machar Teny and now think that it can again target the Jieng. We urge them to reconsider their support for the purpose of maintaining a coherent nation.
The IGAD mediators of the current conflict, which Riek Machar Teny has imposed on the people of South Sudan, are now trying to say that they too, can become the king makers over the people of South Sudan. Incredibly, the IGAD mediators now believe that they can constitute themselves as the power over South Sudan, instead of just meditating peace to end the conflict.
The well-known process of peace mediation is that if the struggle for power is the cause of the conflict, which is clearly the case with renegade Riek Machar Teny and his cronies, then the legitimate and the legal leader of the government of the day, which is Salva Kiir Mayardit in the case of South Sudan, is fully supported and asked to be magnanimous in power, to accommodate back to power, those who had challenged his authority and failed.
This is done, so that the challenger gives up his illegal arms to again become part of the constitutional system of the country. This is not what the IGAD mediators want to do. They want to abrogate the constitutional order of South Sudan and to replace it with their suggested most unconstitutional system. This is being attempted at the time when the constitutional order of the Republic of South Sudan is due for an election in only a few months.
We had appealed to the IGAD mediators on 5th September 2014, to maintain the constitutional system of South Sudan and assist the young republic to run elections due in 2015. This is the best way to replace the head of state of South Sudan and its parliament. If President Salva Kiir Mayardit is truly as unpopular as some in Equatoria and renegade Riek Machar Teny think he is, then the constitutional way out is the elections.
The trick now being played is obvious. If Salva Kiir Mayardit accepts to be side-lined by the IGAD mediators and not by the people of South Sudan through an election, we see clearly what the objective is. It is that when the mandate for Salva Kiir Mayardit runs out in July 2015, he will no longer have legitimacy. Any legitimacy that he may have at that point, will only be at the mercy of the IGAD mediators. Everything, including regional or even international trusteeship will all come to play at that point.
As Jieng elders, representative of the views of our wider Jieng community across South Sudan, we will not accept this and no one can fool us into silence on this matter. If the world is serious about peace in South Sudan, let them organise and supervise the 2015 general elections in South Sudan.
If whoever candidate we support is defeated in a fair and free election, including President Salva Kiir Mayardit himself, we will accept and recognize that result. If not, a change of regime in Juba, especially a change that will replace the elected system of South Sudan without an election, is totally unacceptable. We will resist it and oppose it, using all legitimate means available to the Jieng community across the entire republic of South Sudan.
May Almighty God guide us towards the fulfillment of our legitimate and just cause.
Long Live The Republic of South Sudan!
THE JIENG (DINKA) COUNCIL OF ELDERS
THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN
Juba, 14 December 2014