Gambella: Three days GPUDM's 6th Regular Assembly successfully concluded

Gambella: Three days GPUDM's 6th Regular Assembly successfully concluded Gambella, October 08, 2015 (GMN) - The Gambella Peoples’ Unity Democratic Movement- GPUDM, the regional ally of the ruling EPRDF coalition, re-elected Engineer Olero Opiew as its Chairperson.The movement’s sixth regular assembly also saw the re-election of Gatluwak Tut as Deputy Chairman.

The three days assembly held at the state’s capital Gambella concluded late on Friday by electing nine executive and 35 central committee members, in addition to the five audit and supervision commissioners.

Members of the movement looked into performances and audit report and put future directions based on inputs from the assembly.

Speaking following his reelection Engineer Olero promised to work towards ensuring the all-round benefit of the public in the state.

His speech at the regional assembly also covered successes achieved in political and socioeconomic fields.

Preparations have also been made to better accomplish the second phase of the Growth and Transformation Plan, taking into account shortcomings and scaling up best practices, the chairperson added.

Efforts will be made to introduce changes in all development sectors including education, health and agriculture.

The chairman extended calls to the public in the region to carry on with the development partnership with the state government.

The participants in their final resolution pledged to continue playing share for the success of the ongoing development, peace and good governance activities in the region.

Predecessors

The GPLM now called GPUDM was founded in 1979 and was based in the Anyuak ethnic group.This group launched a guerrilla war against both the Derg regime of Ethiopia and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA). SPLA had a major base in Gambella and had committed numerous atrocities against the local inhabitants (Anyuaks); however the GPLM was unable to mobilize more than a negligible portion of the population and never held any liberated area before the fall of the Derg in 1991. With the end of the Ethiopian Civil War, Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) forces, accompanied by a small contingent of the GPLM, occupied Gambella and expelled the SPLA. Now in power and ruling party.

Despite the GPLM's hold on power it was weakened by internal disputes, predominantly between Anyuaks from villages along the Openo (or Baro River), who known as "the Openo boys", and those from villages along the Gilo River. The first group, including Regional President Okello Oman, were expelled from the GPLM before the 1995 General Election. In response to this situation, the EPRDF ordered the remaining members of the GPLM and the GPDUP to merge into the GPDF in 1998.

Formation of the GPUDM

This led dissatisfied Anyuaks to found the Gambella People’s Democratic Congress. Prior to the 2000 elections, many leaders of this opposition party were detained. In 2003, the central government dissolved the GPDF and replaced it with the GPUDM, a coalition of three newly founded ethnic-based parties. The three constituent parties were the Nuer People’s Democratic Organization for the Nuer and Opo, the Anywa People’s Democratic Organization for the Anyuak and Komo, and the Majanger People’s Democratic Organization for the Majangir.