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TROIKA insists South Sudan leaders act on poll timeline

By Charles K Mark


The USA, UK and Norway, reaffirmed a call for South Sudan’s leaders to urgently take the steps necessary to ensure genuine and peaceful elections in December.

In a short note seen by this outlet, the TROIKA countries said the electoral process should address the ten questions posed by the trilateral mechanism (UN, AU, and IGAD).

“Not taking these critical steps and not allowing elections would be a collective failure on the part of South Sudan’s leaders.

The TOIKA countries further reiterated the need to use public revenue in a transparent manner to address public needs.

“Our relationship with South Sudan remains based on our conviction that the South Sudanese people deserve peace, human rights, democracy, and a government that is responsive to the needs of its citizens,” the note stated.

According to R-JMEC it is only possible for the country to conduct elections in 2024 when parties to the agreement reach a consensus to do so.

Conducting elections without completing the pending tasks requires negotiation, according to R-JMEC. And this means parties will dialogue, compromise, and agree on a viable inter-party arrangement with a commitment to be bound by the results of any elections.

According to the consensus, the parties must also commit to continuing with the implementation of the provisions even after elections.

Revision of the Roadmap;

The monitoring body suggested that the parties may consider reviewing the roadmap with a view to prioritizing the most critical tasks necessary to establish the bare minimum preconditions acceptable to the parties.

“Revise the key tasks and the timelines to complete their implementation. Have a clear guarantee and an explicit commitment that the agreed tasks will be implemented within the revised timelines,” the interim R-JMEC chair recommended.

However, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) has demanded an election dialogue mediated by a neutral body.

SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar was responding to Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) suggestion to parties to the agreement to dialogue on the best way forward.

Acknowledging that time is running out, Dr. Machar noted that a genuine dialogue should be mediated by a neutral body.

“In light of the challenges registered during the five (5) years of implementation, we would like to state that dialogue and its outcome shall only be credible in the presence of a mediator,” Machar said.

“In addition, there is a critical need to demonstrate political will on the part of the parties and the resolution of the critical issues that have been affecting the implementation of the agreement,” he added.

Dr. Machar pointed out the important outcome of the Ministerial Consultative Meeting of the African Union Ad-Hoc High-Level Committee for South Sudan (C5).

This was convened in Addis Ababa on February 16, 2024, at the margins of the 37th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Governments.

It recommended dialogue among the parties to the agreement to chart a way forward on critical issues affecting the implementation of the agreement.

The meeting also called on the international community to facilitate the successful implementation of the outstanding provisions of the R-ARCISS, including the provision of technical and logistical support.

With less than 8 months to the conduct of the elections, key provisions critical for the conduct of credible elections remain unimplemented.

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