Upper Nile region to elect new leader after Thot exits

Upper Nile region to elect new leader after Thot exits
The outgoing chairman of Upper Nile Region Youth Union, Michael Biplial Thot and the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Committee, Reech Malual. [Photo: Courtesy of LM]

The Upper Nile Region Youth Union is set to elect its new leader after the incumbent chair, Michael Biplial Thot, stepped down.

Despite the fact that he did not complete his term in office, Mr. Thot did not disclose the reason for his resignation.

The delegates elected from the counties of Jonglei, Upper Nile, Unity states, and the  Administrative Areas of Ruweng and Pibor are eligible to apply for the positions of the Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, Secretary, and the Deputy Secretary, as well as participate in the entire process of election.

Addressing the press conference yesterday, Thot said the union could help in curbing intercommunal conflicts between communities living in the Greater Upper Nile Region.

“The union has been in existence for the last one and a half years, and we would want to call upon the youth of Greater Upper Nile to elect the next leader of the union to participate in the peace agreement so that we can go back to our normal duties as citizens of the nation,” he said.

“As young people who have come together, they have interacted more peacefully and that is what we want to take back to our villages, which have a lot of inter-communal fighting,” Thot added, as he described the reason for the entity‚Äôs existence.

Thot reiterated that the three states and two administrative areas have been unified since the colonial era and that the union would help revive the peaceful coexistence among the communities.

“Our people had been coexisting three generations ago before the colonial period. So we want to impart that coexistence in a very peaceful manner. “

Reech Malual, an advocate, hailed the outgoing chairman for stepping down to give way to a new leader, arguing that holding power was the major cause of misunderstanding among the youth.

“One thing which divides the young people in South Sudan is holding power. Michael has decided not to divide the region, and I think he can be applauded for that,” Reech noted.

Youth commit crimes

The move comes at a time that most young people have had bad blood with aid workers.

Last month, the representative of the United Nations Secretary-General to South Sudan, Nicholas Haysom, said poor living conditions among the youth have planted hostility between them and the aid workers and peacekeepers serving in the country.

 “The dire economic situation and its impact on youth have resulted in a surge in criminality and xenophobic hostility towards humanitarians and peacekeepers,” he said.

“These important concerns must be taken into consideration in our overall response and addressed in a manner that acknowledges the voice of the youth while manifesting zero tolerance for violence directed at humanitarians,” Nicholas noted.

Also, said the slow pace of the implementation of the revitalised peace agreement contributed to crime among the youth, citing the conflict in Jonglei State and the Greater Pibor Administrative Area which are part of the Greater Upper Nile region.