October 10, 2012 (RUMBEK) - A group of South Sudanese youth living in New South Wales (NSW) Australia have set up a branch of the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) Youth League to educate the Diaspora about South Sudan and the ruling SPLM.
The group, the first to be established in Australia, was created after two meetings in September in which the members declared their commitment to the SPLM "and its efforts to delivering good governance, peace and unity and prosperity for all south Sudanese“, Isaac Akec, one of the members told Sudan Tribune.
Hundreds of South Sudanese competed to be elected chairman of the new group, with Maper Akec Gum winning the poll. Speaking after his victory Gum said his efforts would go into helping the South Sudanese community and Australians understand the SPLM’s vision and mission.
Gum asked young South Sudanese people to contribute to the political and socio-economic development of South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in July last year. He described the SPLM-led government as a just “an administration working hard everyday to progress the country on all fronts and not as a rich institution to provide jobs for everybody”.
The image of the former rebel group has been tarnished by corruption since it came to power in southern Sudan in 2005 as part of the deal that ended decades of war and allowed the region to secede last year.
Gum said that youth were “great assets” and encouraged young people to seek training and employment, especially in the private rather than the public sector as the government could not be expected to create jobs.
"We should be looking at our potential to create opportunities in self-employment” he said.
The SPLM-YL Chairman for New South Wales said he wants to see policies that help young people lead better lives, by improving gender equality, addressing HIV/AIDS, capacity-building and youth employment.
Johnson Garang Ngor, one of the new organisation’s founding members said the "formation of SPLM-YL NSW will provide a platform for youth to stage their full participation and contribute directly to the party and governance affairs".