By William Madouk Garang
The United Nations Secretary General has urged South Sudan Parties to the Revitalized peace agreement to resolve on an electoral timetable to avoid unilateral actions that might undermine conducive environment for the anticipated elections at the end of the transitional period that’s due in February 2023.
The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres’ made the appeal in his recommendations and observations as enclosed in a report on ‘situation in South Sudan’, that was submitted to the UN Security Council members State on Wednesday.
The report covers political and security developments, the humanitarian and human rights situation and process toward the implementation of the mission’s mandate since the previous report dated February 25, 2022.
In the 18-pages report, Secretary-General Guterres commended parties for overcoming bottlenecks command structure ratio and encouraged them to proceed with pending security arrangement tasks.
“The parties should decide on electoral timetable and avoid unilateral actions that may undermine the environment for elections. Noting the difficult terrain of South Sudan, the dearth of infrastructure…” partly read statement by Guterres.
“I call upon parties to immediately engage in a broad-based discussion and agree as soon as possible on a clear roadmap for the end of the transitional period,” he added.
Guterres lauded South Sudanese leaders saying they have shown that they can make real progress when there is a sense of urgency and determination.
“They should again show national leadership by completing the constitution and holding free, fair credible and inclusive elections in the little time that is left,” further stated the UN report.
The UN Secretary-General, however raised concern that with limited time for transitional period to elapse while critical outstanding issues remain unresolved it could led to extension.
“In absence of tangible progress, the peace agreement bears risk of being afflicted by a cycle of extensions. I strongly believe that the only viable course of action is the full implementation of R-ARCSS in letter and spirit,” noted the UN Head Guterres.
He stated that full implementation of the agreement would mitigate reoccurring conflict which lead to loss of lives, destruction of property and widespread displacement, asserting that the circle of violence has decreased by 32 percent compared to last year.
“I therefore urge the government to prioritize this aspect and provide the necessary funds to the security mechanisms to enable, as soon as possible, the graduation of the necessary unified force,” he asserted.
Guterres affirmed that while the country conduct elections United Nation would stands ready to provide needed support to the process should the government ask for such assistance.
Last week, President of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguata Museveni said for the country to have a durable peace, conducting free, fair and credible is the key remedy.
“If you conduct election, the nation will not have arguments to answer the question of ‘who and what’ regarding the governance of the country because the election minimize argument and internal quarrel,” Museveni quoted by Daily Monitor.
However, many critical tasks and provisions of the peace deal such as the graduation of necessary unified forces, enactment of permanent constitution, security bill, and consensus among others are yet to be fulfilled.
As clock is ticking down toward the end of transitional period with only 8 months left for elections, all indications show a little hope for conducting first-ever elections since independence.
The main parties SPLM-IG – under president Kiir and SPLM-IO – under Deputy Riek Machar had already voiced different views about the forthcoming elections.
With SPLM-IG in support of holding general presidential polls on time while SPLM-IO is against it citing the pending peace tasks that are yet to be implemented.