May 26, 2015(Nyamilepedia)— SPLM (IO) Chapter Victoria loyal to former Vice-President Dr Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon held its first elections on Saturday 23 May 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. In what was regarded as a smoothly organized free and fair elections process, the general assembly echoed their trust in the committee and returned most of the committee members either in the same positions or other roles.
Tito Tut Pal, the Interim Chairman for the last 7 months was returned to position of chairmanship unopposed along with other 10 members of the committee. Those reaffirmed into the committee were Esko Ayama, formerly the Assistant Secretary for Information, elected as the Deputy Chairman, James Eka as the Finance Secretary and Mary Duol as the Secretary for Women Affairs and Women League.
Newly joining members includes Adhar Ajak Chol who was elected the Chapter’s Secretary General. Other committee members are Ruach Deng, Secretary for Political Mobilisation, Gatdet Lual Gach, Secretary for Information, Peter Ranlel as the Secretary for Protocol and Nyan Gatdet Chukuel as Secretary for Youth Affairs and Youth League.
Victoria has the majority of South Sudanese migrants living in Australia. “The Victorian Chapter has been the nerve center of the support SPLM (IO) gets from Australia”, Tito said. “This is a win for our true believers”, he added. Adhar on his part thanks the members for reaffirming their trust in him and his colleagues. “It’s deeply honoring to be elected by your peers so you can serve them in this very difficult time”, he said. “We thanks our members and supporters for investing their trust in us, we will work for them and with them in their call for peaceful resolution to the conflict”, added.
The Chapter will be providing support to the ongoing search for permanent peace in the country. Working with civil organizations, the committee will be committed to provide an advocacy role that will bring to light the suffering of people of South Sudan.
President Salva Kiir’s lack of vision has plunged the country in to abyss when he resisted a call for a democratic transformation of the country’s national institutions. Kiir resorted to violence when he was politically cornered and realized he could not win a peaceful contest of ideas based on realistic programs. Instead, he invoked a tribal overtone that opened up the deep faulty fault lines in the country that has been at the shadow of war for the last 60 years.
“We cannot stand by while our hard-won freedom and independence pride is being trashed by an incompetent opportunistic dictator”, said Ranlel, the Secretary for Protocol. “We will do all we can to put pressure on Salva Kiir to accept our people’s demand for a free and egalitarian society where citizens are not jailed or murdered for expressing views that are contrary to what the government want people to believe”, he added.
The Chapter call for the immediate withdrawal of the Ugandan People’s Defense Force (UPDF) from South Sudan. Ugandan people have been a friend to South Sudanese during long civil way and will remain to be. The Ugandan military intervention in South Sudan is illegal, unwarranted and ill-advised based on a narrow self-interest of the President Yowery Museveni.
We call on the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan to publish their report on the atrocities committed and hold accountable those responsible. Delaying the accountability steps will only embolden the perpetrators’ stance and will likely commit more crimes on civilians.
We sport the establishment of an independent Hybrid Court that will deal with those who committed the mass killings and other human right abuses. We call on the international community to investigate the alleged war crimes especially in recent government offensives in Unity State.
The ongoing civil war is not in any South Sudanese interest. We therefore call on all South Sudanese to reject Kiir’s tyranny and equally reject his authority. Salva Kiir is a symbol of division, deaths and failures. We call on him to initiate a process for him to stepdown so the little left of the world’s youngest nation could be salvaged.
Nyan Gatdet Chukuel, Secretary for Youth Affairs and Youth League.