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South Sudan’s Speaker, Jemma Nunu Kumba addresses Interparliamentary Assembly, reaffirms gov’t’s commitment to elections

By Victor Dodo


Speaker of South Sudan’s National Legislative Assembly Jemma Nunu Kumba has reaffirmed the government’s commitment to conduct elections, next year.

Addressing the 147th Assembly of the Interparliamentary Union in Angola yesterday, Speaker Jemma Nunu remarked that elections are the only mechanism to allow the people of the Republic of South Sudan to choose their leaders and representatives to enhance service delivery, trust, and confidence building across the country.

The head of the National Legislative Assembly stressed that as a post-war institution, the role of the National Assembly in overseeing the implementation of the peace agreement has been pivotal.

Speaker Nunu added in the past twenty-four months, the National Legislative Assembly has reviewed and enacted several laws that are very critical and highly consequential for the smooth implementation of the peace agreement to facilitate South Sudan’s post-war reform Agenda.

The Speaker stated that several security laws have been amended to align with the security reform programs stipulated in the Revitalized Peace Agreement.

She further said that several legislations have been enacted to promote accountability and transparency in public institutions and ultimately enhance public trust and confidence in the people’s service-centered parliament and the executive.

“The laws include Public Finance and Accountability Act, Anti-corruption Act, Constitutional Making Act, Elections Act, Political parties Act, and other related legislations,” Nunu added.

On gender parity, she asserted the government’s resolute commitment to the South Sudan government to respect and implement legislation for women’s empowerment as equally spelled out in the Revitalized peace agreement which calls for representation of women in positions of leadership.

Nunu said in conformity with this call, The National Legislative Assembly has 33.7% women representation including the speaker, and 22% women in the executive this includes a vice president for gender and youth affairs and a deputy governor of the Bank of South Sudan.

On youth representation in leadership, Nunu says parliament has amended its rules of procedures to establish young parliamentarians’ caucus to be part and parcel of the leadership of the National Legislative Assembly and added that the formation process of the body is at final stages.

The head of the South Sudan Parliament also called attention to the unprecedented raging conflict in Sudan between the Sudan Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Forces, Ukraine, and the Middle East.

The Speaker highlighted that the conflict in Sudan has triggered unspeakably massive deaths, destruction of property, and displacement of people both internally and externally as refugees.

She remarked that hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled to the Republic of South Sudan freeing the conflict in Sudan, a phenomenon she stated has created a dire humanitarian crisis in the country.

“The influx of refugees and returnees to the Republic of South Sudan has created a serious humanitarian crisis, we pay tribute to those who have lost their love, especially women and children who are victims in war zones in Sudan and Ukraine,” she added.

Nunu implored the warring factions to embrace dialogue.

“We call upon all warring parties in these conflicts to give dialogue a chance and seek peaceful solutions,” she added.

Nunu who doubles as sitting president of the Forum of Parliaments of Member States of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region assured of their formidable and sustained effort to explore ways and means of restoring peace, security, and subsequent development in the great lakes’ region.

she calls for a collective effort from leaders and the public to prevent violence at regional and international levels in order to maintain social peace as a precondition for good governance.

The Speaker stressed that the safety of the world and the maintenance of global peace and security calls for continued political dialogue as a gateway for a peaceful world.

The head of the South Sudan government delegation to the 147th Assembly of the interparliamentary Union, Nunu says millions of people across the world are witnessing increasing untold suffering as a result of the absence of peace due to weak institutions of governance.

Nunu elucidated that peace, Justice, and strong institutions have a symbiotic relationship and are very cardinal for democratic governance and sustainable development which resonates with this year’s theme of the IPU Assembly dubbed *” Parliamentary action for peace, justice and strong institutions”*.

Nunu says peace, Justice, and strong institutions are necessary for the realization of sustainable development goals.

She encouraged parliaments as key representatives of the people to embrace diverse views and collaborate with the executive arm of government in addressing common challenges of peace, Justice, and strong institutions for effective governance and service delivery to their citizens.

Nunu acknowledged the fact that injustice and lack of tranquility in several instances have weakened trust between people and their governments and urged for parliamentary action for peace, Justice, and strong institutions to rebuild the bond of trust between the people and public institutions to pave for the prevalence of peace, security, and social co-existence for all. She added that this can only be achieved through public participation in Legislative processes and other government projects.

Nunu thanked and congratulated the outgoing president of the Interparliamentary Union Mr. Durate Pacheco for his three years of dedicated service and with inclusivity at the top of his agenda, especially for women and youth and urged for a peaceful election process for a new leadership of the Interparliamentary Union.

“As we look forward to a new female speaker from the African continent, I urge all to exercise this democratic process with respect, absolute objectivity, and maturity,” she added.

The Speaker underscored that women are particularly jubilant and proud that the new leadership of the Interparliamentary Union will be women from the African continent.

Nunu concluded her electrifying and moving speech with a rallied call to change the world to a better place with a shared future for the present and coming generations.

Over one hundred and thirty parliamentarians from across the world are attending the biannual gathering to exchange views and galvanize parliamentary actions on the promotion of democracy, helping parliaments including the National Legislative Assembly become stronger, younger, gender-balanced, and more diverse.

The five day which commenced in the Angolan capital Luanda on Monday and concluded on Friday.

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