Aldo Ajou Deng: Education in our political history

Posted: November 29, 2016 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey, Juba, South Sudan

south sudan politicians busy at work

November 29, 2016 (SSB) —- Jieng (Dinka) Council of Elders, JCE: “We tried to tell the truth and state facts surrounding war in South Sudan and, tried to explain off the rogues’ accusations and charges, but the brains of our enemies are blocked: “not allowed!”

JCE has been the waste basket of unverified stories, fabricated propaganda and evil-minding lies, that the Jieng Elders planned, implemented and fuelled the war of 15 December 2013. Some went as far as saying that JCE are the hardliners and against peaceful settlement of the conflict. Some of them concentrated on the disinformation that the Elders are the ones running the Government, not President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

We identified and evidentially tried to verify the stories to find that they are only intended, divisive propagandists advertisements. We expect the manufacturers to be hiding within the midsts of former members of the Sudan Communist party, under the skins of the FDs and SPLM IO. By extensions, some SPLA Generals (RTD), who failed to stop the coup and army soldiers desertions to rebellion, in December 2013, have guts to full mouth blame the JCE.

It is to be recalled that the former Chief of Staff, General James Hoth Mai, could have saved the country by stopped the rebelling arms units in Juba, Bentiu, Bor, Akobo, Malakal and Nasr at the time. General James and other retired SPLA generals are on record (President Obasanjo report 2014) that the “Jieng Council of Elders are responsible for the ongoing violence because they brought the Dinka milias to Juba. What a criminal and dangerous lie? As Dinka community members, we had never hid our opinion from Khartoum. The Dinka and Nuer people had been in the open fields of liberation since long.

To attend to General Majak Agot Atem de Mayen, a nephew of Akuot Atem de Mayen and his close associates from Jonglei, I state that “they are overwhelmingly in a mood to disregard and belittle the power of the Jieng Elders”. Some young social media contributors went as far as saying that the Dinka of Greater Bahr Al Ghazal lack leaders that can govern this country now and in the future to come. In such a statement, I can only comment: “their knowledge of political history of Southern Sudan is low or never had a primary knowledge about Dinka heroism from the Turkish invaders 1820 to the end of war with Khartoum in 2005.

This gross and idiotic statement of hate which has no backing or linkage to the political history of the liberation struggle from 1955 to 2005, must be categorically dismissed as a game of unworthiness. I can only describe such writers as “below necessary standards, blocked ignorance, naive and selfish”. I must confirm and state the historical facts: Bahr Al Ghazal had always been in the fore of our struggle for freedom and it had, honestly, contributed to liberation efforts, both in material and human resources.

To prove that the Jonglei Dinka youth are wrong in their evaluation of leaders, is because they have skipped the history of collective and solidarity of the people of Bahr Al Ghazal and Upper Nile on military and political fronts of the liberation. This political and social solidarity, was witnessed throughout the fifty years of Anya nya one, Anya nya two and the SPLA/SPLM arms campaign (1955-2005). The first differences that occurred, were in March 1965, following the Round Table Conference on problem of Southern Sudan, between the leaderships of Anya nya one/ Southern Front on one hand and the Sudan African National Union, SANU, on the other hand.

In presenting their position papers to the Round Table Conference on 3rd of March 1965, Aggrey Jadan represented SANU/Anya nya one and Hillary Paul Logali represented the South Front, tha two agreed on the “right to self-determination”. But SANU, represented by Raan (Human) William Deng Nhial, presented “Federal System of Government for a united Federal Republic of the Sudan”. That division, nevertheless, did not affect co-operation and unity of propose between leaders in Southern Front and SANU. However, the three groups embraced the Addis Ababa Agreement of March 1972. Political violence ever never occurred among the leaders, the communities, within the Anya nya one or Anya nya Two forces, from 1955 to 1983.

The second fallout among the Southern Sudanese was in August 1983, in Bilpham, Ethiopia (then under col. Maqgesio Hailemariam). The disagreement occurred between the Chairman of Anya nya Two, Akuot Atem de Mayen and Dr. John Garang de Mabior (both came from Dinka section of Jonglei). Akuot wanted secession of Southern Sudan from Northern Sudan. Garang wanted a revolutionary approach that could, possibly, transformed Sudan into secular democratic “United Republic of the Sudan”-an attempt to dislodge the then Islamic/Arab centralised system of government. This division, for the first time in the political history of Southern Sudan, was a complete dichotomy of parallel political programmes: National Liberation versus National Revolutionary Transformation; Liberal democracy and Socialist Oriented dictatorship ideologies. The political dichotomy couldn’t accommodate a “unity of purpose” between the two movements since causes were completely separate. Thus ending up in idealogical violence in which many Nuer and Dinka civilian died.

The third war-link conspiracy concerned the August 1991 coup from Nasr in Upper Nile Region. Dr. Riek Machar and Dr. Lam Akol defected there, U turned, abandoned the SPLM/SPLA, forged a secessionist movement and named it: “Southern Sudan Independence Movement, SSIM”, in order to provide and accelerate a working agreement with a centralised Islamic government in Khartoum. SSIM’s agenda was committed to anti-SPLM/SPLA, anti-Dr. John Garang de Mabior as a person and anti-Dinka Community. This organisation clearly intended to promoted tribal hatred among the Nuer, Dinka and Shilluk.

That pronounced hatred was immediately translated into indiscriminate killing of innocent children, elderly and women from both sides. Dr. Lam in his usual political senarios, deserted further the new SSIM and went for another “Fashoda agreement” with Khartoum. What could be appreciated was the fact that the Shilluk did not fight physically the Nuer, Dinka or the SPLA. But the continued fighting the SPLA until 2005. It is assumed that shiluk played a dirty middle games to promote Nuer and Dinka feudalism.

Inspite of severity of relations among the leaders: Dr. John Garang, Dr. Riek Machar and Dr. Lam Akol, were able to reconcile in 2001. Their reconciliation resulted in reunifying the SPLM/SPLA. Garang welcomed the returning leaders, reinstated them into the hierarchy of the SPLM/SPLA and included them into SPLM negotiating team and finally signed the historical “Comprehensive Peace Agreement, CPA”, with Khartoum on 9 January 2005.

Unfortunately Dr. John did not live long to supervise the implementation of the CPA. He was killed in a plane crash on 30 July 2005, between Uganda and Southern Sudan. Dr. John Garang brought peace and unity to Southern Sudan. However, his Deputy Salva Kiir Mayardit, took over the reign of power, committed himself to CPA and continued the legacy of the revolution, the legacy of Dr. John Garang de Mabior and Southern Sudan’s right of self-determination. General Salva Kiir kept close relationship with Riek Machar and Lam Akol. He appointed both of them as Deputy Chairman of SPLM, Vice President of the interim Government of Southern Sudan in Juba and Lam Akol for central ministry of foreign affairs in Khartoum, from August 2005 to December 2013.

As the saying goese that ” history repeats itself”, Dr. Riek Machar repeated the his legacy of coup-makings and rebellions. On 15 December 2013, he made another coup and followed by military rebellion, exactly repeating the 1991 Nasr coup and rebellion. He targeted again, as he did to Dr, John, the SPLM/SPLA and General Salva Kiir Mayardit. But, the only difference this time was that, Machar agreed with some Bor politicians, including Garang’s widow, Rebecca Nyandeeng and her son, Mabior Garang Mabior, to end Salva’s leadership of the party and the Government. This political deal between Riek and Bor Community emanated from the reconciliation and apologies in Madam Rebecca’s resident in Juba in 2012.

The fourth and final showdown between the group (Rebecca Nyandeeng, Dr. Riek Machan and Pagan Amuom) and the Chairman of the SPLM and Executive President of the Republic of South Sudan, General Salva Kiir Mayardit, occurred during the SPLM’s Political Bureau routine meetings in March 2013. In those meetings, two issues came up: (a) democratic reforms and amendments of the SPLM’s Charter and Constitution and (b) the SPLM’s second Convention and General elections in 2015.

In the same meetings, Riek Machar, Rebecca Nyandeeng and Pagan Amuom, advanced their individual personal interests, each nominating him/her-self for next leadership of the SPLM and Government in 2015. It was a bomp shell that indicated a strong division of the SPLM, yet to follow. On 27 July 2013, President Salva removed the group from the party and the Government, It was from this point and time, that the group appointed Dr. Riek as their leader to begin the fight for leadership. On 15 December 2013, the war began in earnest.

In considerate to the above sequences of political events that led to violence and death among South Sudanese, from 1983 to recent 2016, were caused mainly by intellectuals and politicians from Nuer, Dinka and Shiluk community origins. This new culture of political anarchy, mounting to deadly violence and war, seem to dominate eighty percent of the people of Greater Upper Nile’s approach to political power. This phenomena, must be given serious attention and appropriate legislation in order to eradicate it. Worst of all, this political violence, since 1983, was/is so wild and destructive that “it does not spare properties, humanity or natural environment”.

I conclude this article by calling on Dinka youth of Jonglei in particular, and youth of Greater Upper Nile in general, that JCE cannot take part in political violence, fuel insecurity or get involve in a tribal feud. All of us were brought up in an atmosphere of integral social interaction, respect for elders, mutual respect and harmony with neighbourhood. But our generation would not tolerate human misbehaviour such as physical aggression, arrogance, show of force or lying. Less we accept unrefined and abusive language like JCE “are evile, tribalist, killers and their political live is out of date”. However, there is no age bar or pension age in politics. What is known of this intimidating age phenomena comes from dictatorships, communist regimes or otherwise. Our Dinka traditions and law do not discriminate members of the community on the bases of age.

Any one concern requires to take note: “JCE is not a contender in the ongoing power struggle in the country, but the JCE cannot yield to a rogue propaganda, sponsored intimidation on national issues with intended destruction, not construction and nation building. JCE cannot tolerate or condone the used of violence as a means to political leadership. The JCE are obliged by the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan to defend the Flag during a crisis. No one has the right under the Sun to stop the JCE in defence of the country or the right of self-defence for their own community.

NB: I am giving this personal warning to a youngster from Bor Dinka who wrote about my goodself thus: “Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey, take your hands off the SPLM, you are not a part of it.. If you want to remain in politics, go back to your SANU and leave us alone ( I don’t know who they are) or go to your village-beec (Dinka Bor pronunciation- my home village is BAAC not beec, the man had an idea about me, but does not know anything about my root or origin. Such a language cannot and will not help people like Majak Agot Atem de Mayan, to ladder up to the highest echelon of leadership of South Sudan.

All in all, I think that Jonglei Dinka youth has demonstrated and continue to exposed an empty arrogance and foolish naivety, assuming that they and their elders are the best leaders South Sudan had had and should continue to have. Referring to Abel Alier and John Garang, all the time, may not continue attractive to South Sudanese any more event with Bor Community as a whole. Check your neighbours in Akobo, Pibor, Pacalla and Panjab. Can they now vote for Bor community candidate for presidency? Why do you leave your Biblical problem unresolved “respect your neighbour as you do to yourself”. Fulfil this obligation before extend your aggressive tongue to Bahr Al Ghazal Dinka Community.

Look up the following quote I borrowed for you, “Selfishness, like foolish assumption, does not pay for wants or wishes, but mutual respect introduce acceptance, trust and greatness”.

Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey is a former cabinet minister in the government of PM Sadiq el-Mahdi that was overthrown by Bashir in 1989, and current member of the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE). 

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing.

  1. Ajou-dit, first of all these, I feel uncomfortable with all irrational comments of my generation that they poured out to JCE or politicians without control of their minds. It’s a total disaster to the people of South Sudan, not only Jieng Bor or Jieng as a whole.There must be a limit of comments or criticism to the politicians and President who have been well known for their honesty and patience.

    Ajou-dit, you have also wrote about our co-existing with our neighbors, and you have had questioning their votes to the member of Jieng Bor community longing for presidency. Well, I have no idea why they can’t cast their blots to the member of Dinka Bor who happens to run for presidency, but I can assume that it is jealousy and selfishness that is consuming South Sudan. Ajou-dit, if it was a pure politics without death, I would have arguing with you in term of politic and freedom of expression. Those communities around Dinka Bor you have mentioned, I think Jieng Bor doesn’t have any political tension with them. It’s only cattle rustling in the area that’s what causes unrest in this region.


  2. Ajou-dit, it seemed that you are not comfortable and irritating when somebody mentioned Abel Alier and John Garang for achievement of the betterment for the people of South Sudan . It’s everywhere, politicians are remembered for their excellent in the job they had done. Sometimes, some elders use these politicians dignity and level of education in order to encourage kids. And that’s why you see the names of those great figures being replay now and then


  3. Deng-mabiei Thon says:

    Aldo Ajou you are causing more confusion and division within youth of South Sudan. I doubt your ability in politics and of course your views are totally destruction of our society. It could have been appropriate to consult your JCE before you express yourself to the point that you behave as if you have never been in politics before. Few facts you have stated in an article are overwhelming convincing, however your problem with Jonglei Youth will leave nasty consequences, while you will be gone soon. “One man poison is everybody poison”. Randit ku kuc ke looi is like empty bucket make more noise. Please have filters in your mouth.


  4. Dengda says:

    Aldo Ajou, having read through your lengthy article assuming I will pick up an elderly advice, unfortunately, I end up picking victimisation, jealousy and warning instead. Also I came to learned from this article why majority of people finger pointed at JCE, you proved them right as you have radical view and divisive agenda. History can’t be rewritten is already written, started by Deng Nhial, Joseph Ladu, Abel Alier and Dr. John Garang. These histories can’t be reversed. Salva Kiir is now writing his own, of which he has good records started from 2005-2011. The mess just came after, your JCE is part of it, plus lack of leadership from Kiir himself, as he rely heavily on informal advisers and take unpopular decision at wrong time, even during struggle he kept doing that. I disagree with the statement that say Greater Bar-el ghazal has no leaders now and some year to come. No it wrong, what I know about GB, they have visionary leaders like Dr. Jok Madut Jok, because of your own jealousy and lack of better other people first that why he is out of active politics. Such leader will be reach as Kiir keep surrounds himself with primitives and people who knows hand to mouth and for yes only. If Dinka is to rule this country for years to come, we should start reach out for best of the best and start identifying them, so that we nurture and prepared them for leadership in order to win other tribes mind, hearts and truth. But we deep our mind into sands.


  5. Panda Yentueng says:

    Uncle Ajou Deng! I thought you are sleeping. I complimented you on this well articulated piece however, the incompetency of President Kiir in academic and leadership questioned the creditability and availability of other able leader in greater Bhar El Ghazal. Now you are respected, John A. Akec is respected and Nhial Deng Nhial is too respected and many others. Be careful with those who want to utilize kiir weakness as opportunity to consider the whole region insignificant in terms of leadership which is not the reality. JCE is being fought seriously both locally and internationally because of you and more other potential leaders in this organization. Be vigilant about the plot or face the political quagmire of the killers.


  6. Intellectual says:

    There was not doubt the like of NCP ageny in Kiir mayardit vincity are responsible for the messy in the country, does Aldo Ajou dit want to tell us they in JCE hate communism, why don’t begin to kick Chinese out of South Sudan, we knew it from the beginning that SPLM is already Hijack and the 2013 incident was scanning process. We also no remaining question over JCE activities which is simply mean BarElgazaliation of South Sudan which will not happened with what ever cause. To prove the dismissal of Benjamin Mijak Dau and Maker Thiong in JCE, now u Barh el gazal are killing Nuer, if they are bad people why don’t you grand them self government to ride of their unbearable behavior. There’s nothing worry atleast for communism since the best world operating countries are communist administored nation. Aldo Ajou dit is trying to prove Bor slogan of Barh el gazal having no christmatic leaders.


  7. David says:

    First of all, in our Dinka traditions, elders are respected because of their grey hair. But, surprisingly, elders of today like Aldo Ajou have lost that legacy by reacting childishly to article written about him. I quote this portion of his article which says;
    “I think that Jonglei Dinka youth has demonstrated and continue to exposed an empty arrogance and foolish naivety, assuming that they and their elders are the best leaders South Sudan had had and should continue to have. Referring to Abel Alier and John Garang, all the time, may not continue attractive to South Sudanese any more event with Bor Community as a whole. Check your neighbours in Akobo, Pibor, Pacalla and Panjab. Can they now vote for Bor community candidate for presidency? Why do you leave your Biblical problem unresolved “respect your neighbour as you do to yourself”. Fulfil this obligation before extend your aggressive tongue to Bahr Al Ghazal Dinka Community”

    With regards to your article Mr Aldo, you are judging the book by its covers and, facts be told, we the youth and elders of Jonglei are not competing with Bahr-el-Ghazal people in any way and that ‘ you should not call us arrogant and foolish. we have ruled in the past and, those leaders from Bor have demonstrated true leadership every aspect. And, you as an elder of Bahr- el-Ghazal, and a member of JCE, you should not belittle our sons of Jonglei and their iconic elders. The leadership of the country is within your region and you were and, still is expected to do the best in leading the country. Unfortunately, every aspect of good governance have nose-dived, who have you got to blame? Instead, you should blame yourself and not the youth of Jonglei and their elders.

    Our tongues are not aggressive Mr baby boomer, but will never be shut when our eyes see you messing up, we are guiding star and want you guys – elders from all corners of this country and the entire leadership of the country to lead righteously so as to leave beyond legacy that will go down in history. I urge you to withdrew your statement so that your revered character is restored among your elites.

    Finally, I leave you with these two leadership quotes from Chris Hadfield and Robin Sharma, that
    1. “Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others’ success, and then standing back and letting them shine”.
    2. “Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers”.

    I am just so afraid, with such emotions demonstrated by your reaction to one man article written about you. I, for sure doubt whether you will leave any good legacy to your young one and if you can make a good political mentor.


  8. Deng Deng says:

    Aldo Ajou,son of slave from foolish majority who had conspired in killing of late Hon. William Deng Nhial in 1968. Aldo Ajou with Bona Malual were collaborators of NCP (Khartoum Government) during the struggle but they were all defeated by Dr.John Garang in which they are now enjoying what they were opposing during struggle.
    Some one who have not fought during the liberation struggle should involve himself in the affairs of this country.


  9. Deng wuor says:

    He might have been provoked by individuals though but his response as a elder is very unfortunate still’that is South Sudan politic anyway.


  10. Jocque. says:

    This is where you can tell the difference; I can’t imagine Abel Alier taking Aldo Ajou stand! His rhetoric doesn’t represent well-seasoned veteran politician in any way. This is mind boggling to be honest. There’s no need for my generation to climb up the tree in order to see what an elder of Uncle Aldo Ajou’s calibre is seeing while sitting. JCE isn’t a political entity and if they have any bearing on the political affairs of the country, then blame the President. JCE is not accountable to South Sudanese masses but President Kiir is. The issue of we are better than you is a very dangerous political gaming and ought to be discouraged whenever possible. Being abusive and emotional in presenting an argument is like unpleasant noises filling the air for those who cherish facts and reasoning.


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