By Gladys Fred Kole
United States Ambassador to South Sudan has called independence of the security sector in the country, without affiliation to any political party.
Amb. Michael J. Adler said that the security sector must be independent, ahead of 2024 general elections.
The US envoy’s sentiment technically depicts Chapter Two of the revitalized peace agreement, on the implementation of the translational security arrangements that demand cantoning, screening, and training of an 83,000-strong unified force.
Ambassador Adler was speaking in a meeting with the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Justice Ruben Madol Arol, yesterday.
The duo discussed the ministry’s crucial responsibility to support steps necessary for credible and peaceful elections.
“We discussed in particular steps necessary for political and civic space and for politically neutral security forces,” Adler said.
He underscored the urgency of meeting the steps necessary for peaceful and credible elections anticipated by December 2024.
“What I told the Minister of Justice is what I have shared with all the ministers with whom I have met, including the president and the vice presidents,” he said. “What I have talked about is the importance of credible elections in 2024.”
Amb. Adler stressed that it is very important for the country to have peaceful and credible elections by next year.
This week, members of Parliament in the Transitional National Legislative Assembly expressed concerns over the country’s ability to hold free and fair elections in 2024, citing an unconducive environment.
The lawmakers echoed the concerns on Tuesday while deliberating on a report of the reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (R-JMEC) on the status of the peace implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement.
The report cited that the formation and operations of institutions responsible for preparing and conducting general elections still remain to be done.
The political parties’ council and the National Election Commission (NEC) are the relevant institutions needed for the success of the forthcoming elections.
But the lawmakers underlined that the large number of guns among the civil population and the unfinished security arrangements make it unfavorable for elections to occur.
However, Dr. Isaac Gabriel Awow Aban, the Undersecretary in the Ministry of Justice, said the discussion covered issues of concern between the US government and the Republic of South Sudan.
He said the issues are related to the mandate of the Ministry, in the implementation of the peace deal, preparation and conduct of the looming polls.