A group of Dinka elders says President Kiir and Vice President Machar should resign in two years. The Jieng Council of elders asks the leaders to exit power after the Transitional Government of National Unity.
The group says both leaders have failed the country. And at the next elections, they should step aside to allow new leadership to solve South Sudan’s problems.
Jieng Council of Elders member Daniel Dhieu Matuet, an MP in the National Assembly, said this is the only way there will be peace and prosperity.
President Kiir says the national Dialogue’s outcome represents citizen views and must be considering. And promised to incorporate the resolutions will into the permanent constitution process.
The Jieng Council of Elders is headed by a 5-member team. They all confirmed to us that they had made this extraordinary statement that has been published online.
The group of Dinka elders said their ideas come as a result of The National Dialogue. This was a process of talking and planning initiated by President Salve Kiir in 2017. It was designed to produce peace and reconciliation after the period of the transitional government ends. At the time, SPLM-IO chairperson Dr. Riek Machar and National Revolution Movement Dr. Lam Akol, were not fully supportive of The National Dialogue.
The Jieng Council of Elders believes that recommendations made during National Dialogue have not been implemented. This means there is a risk that war will return to South Sudan.
In particular, they criticize President Kiir and Vice President Machar. Saying the current government is not interested in fixing South Sudan’s problems because it continues to be dominated by the rivalry that caused the fighting in 2013.
Now the Dinka elders say it is time to “break silence on national affairs.”
Daniel Dhieu Matuet is one of the elders. He mentioned there needs to be a new leadership with the skills and ideas to build the economy and unite South Sudan people. Matuet says the Dinka elders call on the old administration to declare they will not be President and Vice President in 2023 when the transitional government ends.
Dhieu worried that the economy collapsed, innocent people dying due to insecurity threats risked in the peace implementation.
”Things should be corrected when they are not made right, and it’s our duty; we’re not after the presidency. We’re not after ministries, but we want our generation to be reserves, have their lives, and have adequate security. The community is the family of these two people [Kiir-Machar]. What will make them happy, what will make them prosper they have to do it”.
Citizens also spokes out about the calls Jieng Council of Elders made. They say President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar should not participate in the upcoming election.
The community members argued that Kiir and Machar have been waging a war that doesn’t promote peace and development.
“Starting from 2005, there is no development between the two leaders. Since 2005 up to date there is no change. Now we want a new face to come and develop others.”
The presidential spokesperson says national dialogue resolution politically motivate and cannot be implemented.
Ateny Wek Ateny said the peace agreement is the supreme document that gives Kiir and Machar a mandate to rule the country during the transitional period.
“What have been said in the National Dialogue, particularly the resolution that is calling for the President and Dr Riek Machar to step aside, has overtaken. The revitalized peace agreement on the conflict resolution makes it clear that President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar will be part of this transition that will last for three years, depending on elections. And they will also go elections according to the agreement which now is the supreme of the country,” Wek said.
The SPLM-IO disagreed with the calls for both leaders to leave power.
Puok Both Kulang, a Director for Information and Public relation in the leading Opposition group He said Jieng Council of Elders has the right to expressed their views but should know that SPLM-IO not eligible to implement any legal resolution of the national dialogue
“Whatever has been decided by the so-called ‘the National Dialogue’ will not concern us as the SPLMM –IO because we are not part and parcel,” said Puok
The elders emphasized that new leadership to set policy economy and development, not a power struggle, is needed in South Sudan.