By Yien Gattuor
Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) under Dr. Riek Machar has started the official registration exercise of its cadres and members in Upper Nile State.
On Saturday, SPLM-IO officially launched its secretariat in the Upper Nile State capital, Malakal.
Regina Joseph Kappa, the SPLM-IO secretary general, along with some party dignitaries and officials from Juba, arrived in Malakal town over the weekend to officiate the party’s official event.
Mrs. Kappa and her delegation were welcomed by hundreds of people and party supporters dressed in the party’s costume blue T-shirts and caps.
The SPLM-IO launched its Malakal secretariat under the theme “towards a democratic, united, and prosperous South Sudan.”
Addressing a mammoth crowd of party supporters at the party’s state secretariat, Regina said she was pleased by the mammoth crowd that turned up.
“Today (Saturday), we are launching the SPLM-IO party in Upper Nile State Malakal town, and I am equally delighted to see the big numbers here,” she said.
“This is a testimony of hard work SPLM-IO party leaders in the state have been doing, implementing peace agreement and doing party work. Congratulations to all of you,” she continued.
Mrs. Kappa noted that what made SPLM-IO launch the party office in Malakal was to change our country for the better.
Upper Nile State governor, who is also SPLM-IO state chairperson, James Odhok Oyal, said they work together with other political parties to carry out their activities peacefully and without hindrance.
“I want to thank the other parties for creating good environment for the people of Upper Nile to be here today because I was a little bit worried that we may have the same crises as in other states,” he said.
“We must applaud our parties for attending this occasion because, in other states, chairpersons from other parties do not attend occasions like this. We need to tell the rest of the people. We want to grow up because politics is not about arresting and intimidating people but about sharing,” he added.
Governor Odhok said they have secured office premises and established party structures at the state and county levels, such as the liberation council secretaries, standing committees, and county leadership.
He said the SPLM-IO party has continued to be resolute and determined, has remained a vital signatory to the peace agreement, and remains the only genuine voice and beacon of hope, reforms, and progressive change.
Nyagoal Deng, a member of the Other Political Parties (OPP) representative, speaking during the SPLM-IO secretariat launch, said she will work with all parties.
She urged parties to work for peace and encouraged the youth to work hard.
“I want to promise that we will continue to work with all the parties, and all the parties will do the same thing,” she stressed.
Ms. Deng appealed to leaders of all political parties to adhere to the 2018 revitalized peace agreement and implement it in letter and spirit.
“We, the OPP, are supporting peace, not war because most of the people are looking for peace,” she hinted.