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Machar calls for security reforms, census ahead of polls

By Bida Elly David


First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny calls for the conduct of a population census to determine South Sudanese electorates for polls.

Dr. Machar appealed during a meeting with a team led by New York based UN Undersecretary General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix,

Though the National Election Commission earlier stated that the exercise could proceed without a census, Dr. Machar emphasized the importance of an accurate population count to ensure genuine results.

He also stressed the need to complete security sector reforms to guarantee citizens’ safety during the electoral period.

“The key tasks discussed include completion of security sector reforms, population census, constitution-making process, and availing resources to elections-related institutions,” Dr. Machar stated.

He reiterated commitment to peace and called for a free, credible, democratic, and inclusive elections.

“We want peace. Our priority is peace. All we want is a free, credible, democratic and inclusive exercise. All these arrangements are meant to secure the country and secure the elections,” he told the UN peace chief.

Dr. Machar also briefed the delegation on the status of the peace agreement and highlighted the need for international support in facilitating peaceful elections.

He further urged South Sudanese citizens, regional actors, and the international community to prioritize the implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement.

For his part undersecretary Mr. Lacroix, in response, acknowledged the productive discussions and emphasized the need to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis, refugee situation, and de-escalate tensions in the Abyei Administrative Area.

He reaffirmed the UN’s commitment to partnering with the South Sudanese government to achieve sustainable peace and stability.

The meeting focused on topics related to the 2018 Revitalized Agreement, the humanitarian situation, and the influx of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Dr. Machar previously advocated for the repatriation of refugees and IDPs during the International Peace Day celebrations last year.

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