JUBA, AUGUST 15, 2016
The Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) wishes to make its position known with respect to the UN Security Council Resolution 2304 authorizing the deployment of regional forces in the Republic of South Sudan. The Council clearly understands the frustration of the international community with the slow pace of peace implementation and the recent political events in South Sudan. The Council categorically deplores and strongly condemns in strongest terms the unwarranted attack at the State House and the resulting in relapse into violence; a situation that was created by Dr. Riek Machar’s attempt to forcefully take state power. We sincerely express our remorse for the bloodshed and the suffering these reckless actions have brought to our people. The Council expresses its deep and heartfelt condolences to the affected families, and urges the Transitional Government of National Unity and its partners to expedite the implementation of the peace agreement so as to stabilize the security situation across the nation and arrest the worsening economic conditions.
As a body that works tirelessly to promote peaceful co-existence and harmony among the people and communities of South Sudan, the JCE has been engaging leaders and elders of various communities in the last two years in a bid to foster a peaceful resolution of the crisis in the country. Towards this end, the Council also recognizes and appreciates the efforts exerted by the region under the auspices of the Inter-governmental Authority on Development, (IGAD), AU, Troika countries, the UN, and other stakeholders in ensuring the return of peace and stability in South Sudan. Having fully expressed its commitment to work assiduously in concert with all peace loving South Sudanese, the region and beyond, the Council takes the view that any engagements for the interest of peace ought to be done in a consultative and constructive manner that recognizes the long struggle of the people of South Sudan for freedom and their hard-earned sovereignty.
Drawing from the foregoing, the passage of Resolution 2304 by the UN Security Council on August 12, 2016, in the view of the Council, is flagrantly unconstructive and conspicuously fails to recognize the sovereignty of South Sudan and the will of its people. The Resolution is sadly a hollow proposition that has no clear direction as to how the proposed intervention force, masquerading as a protection force, would actually bring and achieve peace in South Sudan. In our view, the Resolution would actually foment animosity among the people of South Sudan. Among other shortcomings, this Resolution would disrupt internal peace processes and embolden the armed opposition against the government, hence, more discord and disunity in our country. If allowed to happen, this situation would certainly spell more suffering of our people. The Resolution essentially gives this force unfettered powers and an unlimited freedom to use all necessary means to meet their operational objectives, a precondition that undermines both the security of ordinary citizens and the power of state and the government. Instead of a constructive engagement premised on genuine dialogue, the proponents of Resolution 2304 have now made it abundantly clear that they intend to place South Sudan under the UN/AU trusteeship, an idea that a few disgruntled South Sudanese politicians with their foreign allies, all of whom are hell-bent to effect a well premeditated regime change agenda through illegitimate means. According to these elements, since they are defeated politically as they have successfully displaced themselves out of the government by their wrong political calculations and misjudgments, they now prefer that the country’s independence and sovereignty, which claimed million lives of our heroes, be turned over to foreign bodies like the UN/AU. In short, it is either their way or the highway.
For the benefit of readers who might have not seen Resolution 2304 in terms of its content and objective, this misguided document claims to want to fix South Sudan’s crisis by allowing foreign forces to take over the security of our national capital, Juba including the airport. On some unrealistic and baseless grounds that the security environment in Juba has worsen since the last tragic and violent events that unfolded on July, 8, 10 – 11, 2016, the world body is trying to sanction an illegal activity – taking over and placing a sovereign and an independent nation under a UN trusteeship. As a member of the UN family, there is no any legal basis whatsoever for the Republic of South Sudan to turn over its hard-won independence and sovereignty to anybody in the world. This includes the UN, which is not allowed by its own charter to usurp power of any member state such as South Sudan.
While it may be true that the security environment is still fragile in South Sudan in a way consistent with that of any post-conflict recovery situation, nothing warrants the deployment of any additional force besides the UNMISS 13, 000 forces already on the ground. On this note, the world should be informed that, following Riek Machar’s third failed coup attempt this past July and consistent with Mr. Machar’s demonstrated recidivism into political violence of catastrophic magnitudes, the security situation is not bad as anybody would like to portray, particularly in Juba where the UN envisions the need to bring additional 4,000 troops as called for in Resolution 2304.
In light of the above, the Council rejects in its entirety Resolution 2304, because it gives foreign forces a blank check “to use all means necessary” to achieve their ambiguous objectives. South Sudan does not need foreign troops that are bent on toppling the government. This country rather needs the international community to support with the Transitional Government of National Unity to consolidate peace in order to restore decent livelihoods to our people. The Council urges the government to expedite internal process to end the suffering of the people of South Sudan and deny the negative international forces the opportunity to wreck our country. Moreover, the Council calls upon the citizens of South Sudan to reject any external interference with our sovereignty. It further urges the citizens to embrace peace and avoid getting drawn into the game of chasing shadows, a scheme deployed by war entrepreneurs who cherish and profit in others’ misery and pain.
Long live the sovereign Republic of South Sudan
Long live the unity of the South Sudanese people
Hon. Joshua Dau Diu, Chairman
Hon. Ustaz Lewis Anei Kuendit, Secretary General
Hon. Charles Majak Aleer, Executive Committee Member
Hon. Maker Thiong Maal, Executive Committee Member
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