By Mekonen Tefere.
Addis Ababa – In highly attended election that kick-off on Saturday, March 19, 2016 in Addis Ababa-Ethiopia, Nuer Section of Gajaak Community for the first time elected a new leader after the current South Sudan conflict erupted. Gajaak Community is a sub-section of Nuer from Jikany tribe who previously occupied Upper Nile State before the conflict but currently known as Adar State according to 21 newly proposed states by the Head of SPLM-IO – Dr. Machar. More than 100 people attended the election and voted for the new board.
The newly elected Chairperson, Mr. Kunen Nyak Bol took oath immediately after his successful election for the chairmanship. In his part, Nyak Bol added that there is need for the entire community of Gaajak to work for peace, reconciliation and unity among themselves. “Our unity has to be very strong and we must extend this unity to other communities in South Sudan “. The leader elaborated that unity is a symbol of commitment and the participation of the entire Nuer and other South Sudanese in supporting this organization is an essential. “I would like to tell you that this task of leading people is belong to all of us because it’s such a participatory leadership which need our effort and contribution“. Kunen added that unity is the best tool to empowering women, youth and other talented groups such musicians. All these groups need empowerment because they are open to change.
Some dignitaries that attended the election were Former South Sudan Ambassador to US who is the current SPLM-IO Chairperson for External Affairs – Amb. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth and SPLA-IO Deputy Representative to Ethiopia – Mr. David Dang Kong were in the attendance. Ambassador Gatkuoth urged the community to work together for the newly elected board. He further explained that he is optimistic about the peace to return to South Sudan.
Meanwhile; other positions that were elected include: Deputy Chairperson that was filled by Mr. Bang Kawich, Secretary General that was occupied by Thakbor, Finance that was also assumed by Nyaruot James while other positions such information and the rest will be nominated by the board.
In another hand, church leaders and other Nuer Sub-Communities’ Leaders were invited as observers in the election. The newly elected chairman and his board revealed that they will work tirelessly to strengthening the Gaajak Community’s relations with other communities and for peace and stability to prevail.
South Sudan has been in trouble for the last two years and more than 200,000 refugees are reported to be in Ethiopia according to UNHCR.