• Merio Jimmy

Dr. Aldo Deng rejects Dinka criticism of JCE

Merio Jimmy, Juba

Member of Parliament Dr. Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey today accused Dinka chiefs of hosting a conference in Juba yesterday with the intention of removing President Salva Kiir from power.

Speaking to press, Aldo Deng asserted that he had carefully studied the Dinka chiefs' press release condemning the recent statement from the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE).

'I think those chiefs that spoke to the press should seek verbal translator since they are handicapped in writing or reading. It is quite clear that they are completely irrelevant on the subject matter of JCE’s press release', he said.

The opening page of the JCE's recent press release: 'Breaking the Silence'.

Deng defended the JCE's statement, arguing that they supported the R-ARCSS as a peaceful resolution to the years of conflict that had preceded South Sudan's independence.

'In a nutshell, we narrated what we did during the “senseless war” of 2013-2018. We supported the then elected SPLM’s government under President Salva Kiir Mayardit against huge SPLM’s rebellious leaders. We defended the Government until September 2018, following the R-ARCSS and formation of R-TGoNU in February 2020. The R-TGoNU replaced the SPLM Government.'

He rejected suggestions by Dinka commentators that the JCE's recent press release was intended as a rejection of the R-ARCSS. Instead, Deng described the JCE's criticism of the government's approach to the peace deal in terms of the manner of implementation, not the deal wholesale.

'The JCE says its time to reverse its position stance from war to peace in order to avoid being accused as rejectionists against the R-ARCSS. We have just decided to join South Sudanese in backing peaceful resolution of the conflict and its implementation process. To do this, we must avoid acquiescence over the slow implementation of the deal. This is our main concern."

Deng is a veteran South Sudanese politician, having held a number of key posts before and after independence.

Speaking about the JCE's criticism of President Kiir and Vice President Dr Machar specifically, Deng clarified that Dinka accusations of encouraging insurrection or a coup are plainly false. Instead, he again argues that the JCE is referring to the government only in terms of the R-ARCSS' implementation.

'President Salva Kiir and First President Riek Machar, who are not seen to be working together or truly honestly committed to R-ARCSS in good faith. Right now Dr. Riek position as “...In Opposition.” They take Presiden Kiir as “...In Government.” This must be corrected to read: “the Transitional Government of National Unity.” Our fear is that, peace might slip away and collapse, forcing the country to go back to another war.'

Deng also suggested that those Dinka chiefs criticising the JCE are doing so off the basis of false information.

The JCE’s press release or the National Dialogue’s recommendations and resolutions, do not contain the words: “Kiir and Riek should not contest next elections.” This statement is only contained in the people’s consultations’ archives and the covering letter of the National Dialogue’s secretariat addressed to President Salva Kiir Mayardit.'

Taking aim at his Dinka critics directly, Deng pointed out that neither himself or the other JCE signatories are 'lay persons', and in fact 'know better how democracy operates'.

He ended his clarification by 'asking the press to contact us for clarification and to enlighten these emotional Dinka chiefs in Juba'.

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