The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is calling on the Juba government to address concerns regarding elections, security, and humanitarian crises in the upcoming year.
Guang Cong, the deputy special representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan, emphasized the need for the government to provide complete funding and operational support for both elections and constitution-making bodies.
“We also called for dialogue amongst all leaders to address pending technical and operational decisions needed for the elections to take place on time,” he remarked on Thursday in Juba.
During the plenary session of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC), the UN representative addressed the gathering, noting the progress made.
However, Guang emphasized that South Sudan’s political roadmap is lagging behind its scheduled timelines, and there are only 12 months remaining until the elections.
He emphasized the importance of regional and international collaborators in South Sudan’s transitional journey, noting that elections are scheduled to take place at the conclusion of the ongoing transitional period, set for December 2024.
“We reiterate that military defections threaten and undermine trust between the parties. We also caution against the temptation towards unilateral actions and that the parties should take measures to de-escalate hostilities, using peaceful means to resolve disputes,” stressed Guang.
The humanitarian situation in South Sudan may deteriorate further next year, according to a senior UN official, as over 420,000 individuals are reported to have fled the conflict in Sudan to South Sudan thus far.
“We urge the Government of South Sudan to provide much-needed safety and reintegration support to the returnees, refugees, and stateless persons who have sought refuge within its borders,” he stated.
South Sudan is anticipated to conduct its inaugural democratic elections in December 2024, in accordance with the 2018 peace accord. However, due to disputes between President Salva Kiir and prominent opposition parties, it remains uncertain whether the planned elections will occur in the upcoming year.
There is an existing rift between President Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar regarding the execution of the elections, and concerns persist about the delayed implementation of crucial provisions outlined in the peace agreement.
In August of the previous year, leaders in South Sudan agreed to a two-year extension of the transitional government, a move criticized by foreign partners for its perceived lack of legitimacy.
This marked the second time the parties prolonged the country’s transitional period.
In July, Nicholas Haysom, the Special Representative of the Secretary General in South Sudan, expressed that the young nation has the potential to achieve substantial progress in meeting the December 2024 goal of conducting elections, provided there is political determination, sufficient funding, and a dedicated effort to establish a conducive political atmosphere.
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES