South Sudan’s News Editor Criticizes ‘Dinka Council of Elders’

Addis Ababa, August 5, 2015 (SSNA) — A South Sudanese News Editor has criticized the Jieng  (Dinka) Council of Elders on his social media page, saying the Elders who supposed to be playing a constructive role in the peace talks choose to become the center of tribal divisions.

Duop Chak Wuol, the editor-in-chief of the US-based South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) on Tuesday posted a distinctive message on his Facebook wall, describing the Dinka Council of Elders as a destructive group run by "tribal hooligans."

"The so called Jieng (Dinka) Council of Elders is a destructive, divisive, and deceitful entity run by tribal hooligans," Duop wrote on his social media wall.

When contacted by the SSNA to clarify what he meant, Duop explained that his message was a protest against what he described as the group’s divisive actions.

“You know, I was simply protesting against the Elders. Let me be brief here; in South Sudan, perhaps in most African cultures, Elders play an important role in any society. For instance, in Nuer culture, Elders are expected to play a constructive role regardless of any situation and I am sure the Jieng (Dinka) culture does the same,” Duop told the South Sudan News Agency.

“You can’t just be an Elder who preaches tribalism, division, and hatred…and expect to be respected, at least in Nuer society,” he recalled.

“Of course, we are in the 21st century, so I don’t expect an elusive tribal miracle to take shape here,” Duop asserted without elaborating.

Duop, who is currently in the United States teasingly suggested to the SSNA that the Dinka Council of Elders should be rebranded as Warrap Council of Elders, a direct reference to Kiir’s home state. He also urged the Elders to rethink their actions and work for peace, adding that he has been wondering why no other Dinka group publicly rejects the Elders views.

Since 2014, a group calling itself the Dinka Council of Elders of the Republic of South Sudan has been defending Salva Kiir’s government, asserting on many occasions that a coup against Kiir’s regime was in fact planned by Dr. Riek Machar and his political allies and that Machar cannot be allowed to be part of Kiir’s government. The group also rejects any peace agreement that gives some powers to Machar, suggesting that the best way for peace to return to South Sudan is for Salva Kiir to first issue an amnesty for Machar and Kiir would then create accommodation positions for Machar and his allies in his government.

The Dinka Elders further accuse unnamed external powers of interfering in South Sudanese internal affairs.

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