By Deng Kur Deng, Pennsylvania, USA
September 27, 2016, I believe in constructive criticism and cohesion among leaders. However, it has become the norm among our current generation that some of us hate hearing the facts—but that won’t stop me from stating them. While that is true, pretending that, there are contended issues, which could be easily addressed through covert strategies isn’t valid. Otherwise, don’t expect these issues to slip away on their own once they reached past rational. As many of us may know, a leader’s greatest fulfillment is in satisfying the people, so their work should be dedicated completely to the country in their leadership.
I support the President of the Republic of South Sudan, General Salva Kiir Mayardit, and many members of the SPLM; however, I feel that there must be room to acknowledge the Jieng Council Elders (JCE) are major threats to even Dinka’s politicians who might have shown no rational reasoning behind their decisions against President Kiir and his administration. Yes, they are politicians in this country and we all need to work together for the welfare of the people, but they must still be viewed as a major concern among Dinka communities.
I have a strong feeling that current politicians are in jeopardy, especially among them the Dinkas, per JCE’s behaviors. As a concerned citizen, I urge those who might have made mistakes to go against administration to apologize to the president to avoid backlash from the people under JCE. This apology can prevent disintegration among the Dinka and will also alleviate the pressure on politicians whose roles are vital in regards to leadership. I have noticed that there is a widespread sentiment that whomever is reasonable and upholds their intentions will be the next president.
However, if these politicians fail to recognize this as a threat to their political future, they will definitely experience a downward trend and people are more likely to lose confidence in them. Once this strength among the people has faded, a politician will have very little chance to strengthen his or her stance on things that matter to the people. People like myself, who see a good number of people as potential leaders, still have high hopes, but harmony between them and the President is very crucial to JCE and as we all knew, JCE is a very strong entity.
Reconciliation at this very stage with the President will nurture their differences and allow change to occur in their quest for high office in the country. At the moment, many Dinkas feel violated by those who disagree with the President, as they see his opponents as elements that are destructive to his power and so do JCE. Some of us feel that this strategy will lessen contentious issues that have spread to various Dinka populations.
I am not asking those politicians to lead South Sudan to join the Jieng (JCE), nor am I suggesting that they act in a capacity that undermines other tribes. However, strength of this very group is one of many reasons why many politicians should apologize to the president. An apology would allow each of these politicians to avoid repercussions from JCE and the Dinka as a whole. Speaking of JCE, I can assure you that the secretary general of JCE, Anei Madut, is the strength of this group and his messages are very powerful. You would agree if you listened to him. He is a serious-minded, articulate individual, and most importantly, a very patriotic man.
All the public figures of the highest level in this country may think that there is room for them and deserves better than being loosely informed. His position as a member of the SPLM and the largest tribe are his biggest advantages in the political spectrum. As people are looking for a better future for the country, many have envisioned what it would be like to bring aboard a new leader. Many of these politicians are known for wanting a better South Sudan but because of disagreements among the ill-informed Dinkas in our communities this has been hard.
Their resentments are expressed in pending protests, which could easily distort images of any politician who has disagreed with the President over the course of these conflicts. These are not demanded changes but rather encouragement for self-transformation in a political context to gain a more positive experience among the Dinka. This improvement is meant to create an environment among the people where they feel their problems are prioritized above all things, including political differences.
I am aware that all these men and women are not in the same place on their positions on the SPLM’s objectives. Yes, we are aware that SPLM was united in Arusha; however, more must be done to maintain its functioning at some levels throughout the country, particularly among politicians. We know that a divided SPLM will not be productive, and this is where those individuals who might have misspoke must focus in widening their approaches and to prevent inconsistencies, which could jeopardize their future in the political arena in the country. At the same time, many people would like to see them work cooperatively with the president. Cohesion between President and many of the SPLM leaders, including those whom have disagreed with him, will expand their network among the Dinka, particularly the JCE may have a chance without other problems arising in the process.
These differences between the President and others is both destructive and a distraction to their political maneuverings, particularly among the Dinka communities. An apology would reconstruct a broken relationship and restore the camaraderie that existed between the two prior to the mess we have all witnessed firsthand. This apology is needed for the country’s continued improvement. For instance, no one would like to experience worthlessness in their own communities and that is why I felt this needs to be address this issue between Dinka’s politicians and JCE’s position.
Let me be clear, differences are not unheard of and are a part of our daily lives. We disagree even with friends, a loved one, parents, and our leaders, but there must be a limit to these kinds of disagreements, especially among our leaders. With that in mind, cherishing our leaders is seen as being an uplifting spirit, particularly during this trying time. My position here is intended to avoid political polarization and political intolerance among these very politicians in the country trying to work together. People are usually captivated by the idea of forgiveness and working peacefully; two positive traits in a political environment. An agreement to be more civil during this trying time is the right move for the betterment of everyone.
While there are leaders who work subversively because of self-interest, the facts of these trying times outweigh the political differences and compromises promote progress. These politicians’ political future is unpredictable without the recognition of the Dinka as a whole, especially the majority of them who are supporting the President. Despite the momentum and support for any politician, there must be cohesion between whoever the politician is and the Dinka. This bipartisan support will bridge the gap that has been created due to differences between the President’s administration and those of political elites in the country. The bitterness between them has affected compromise and collaboration; and so an apology and reconciliation are the stepping-stones in the right direction. Currently, citizens see themselves as indefensible and therefore would like to see their government work for their protection rather than disagree.