National, News

Civic, political space shrinking-CEPO

By William Madouk


Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) has raised concerns about the growing trend of violations in the civic and political space as the upcoming general elections approach.

In their pre-elections domestic observation reporting from January to March, CEPO noted frequent violation by leaders of political parties in state and national government.

“We realized that the frequency on violation of civic and political space is increasing alongside the development of raise on confrontation language among the political parties on the fate of the elections expected for December 2024,” partly reads statement.

“Perpetrators of the violations are political parties and leaders mainly at state and local government level,” it added.

According to the three-month pre-elections observation conducted by CEPO, nine serious violations were documented.

The report added that these cases were triggered by an increase in confrontational public politic loaded with aspects of mistrust, hate, disinformation and hostile propaganda from senior members from both SPLM and SPLM-IO.

“Restriction of civic and political space in the face of political elections in post conflict situation is dangerous because it acts as potential trigger for country return to violence,” noted CEPO.

It said restriction of civic and political space normally generates hate speech, hostile propaganda, misinformation and disinformation that embrace rise in mistrust and lack of confidence.

“These political attitudes of hate speech, hostile propaganda, misinformation, disinformation and fake comments in the face of elections in post conflict situation are the best triggers for electoral violence,” stressed the civil society organization.

“In the context of South Sudan has already started from January, 2024. It is essential that all political parties’ leaders are strongly required to abstain from using elections pro-violence triggering statements,” it warned.

For instance, CEPO highlighted ‘the burning of the SPLM T-shirts dated 12th March, 2024 in Nyriol County of Jonglei state and restrictions of the SPLM-IO movement dated 11th March, 2024 in Twic East County of Jongeli state.

Another incident was the death threat posted to the Minister of General Education and Instruction which it said is politically-motivated and intended to harm the minister to face replacement by the President.

Based on CEPO, two major political parties the SPLM and SPLM-IO members in some states and counties are effectively engaged in restricting civic and political space.

CEPO also observed trend of armed individuals in a vehicle of numberless (Plate) is rising around premises of media outlets and some civil society, recently from January, 2024.

Edmund Yakani, the Executive Director for CEPO appealed to all political parties’ leadership to warn their respective members not to attempt controlling of open civic and political space for their opponents in their strong political holds/constituency.

He urged principals of the political parties is required to demonstrate concrete gestures of regaining trust and confidence before their elections voters.

To him, president and presidency should urgently declare or order opening of civic and political space without any form of restriction for effective and meaningful public, political parties and civic actors’ engagement in the forthcoming elections in December 2024.

“The ready registered eight violations of civic and political space since January to March, 2024 is real and posting potential political destructive actions for the growth of democratic and nurturing the political culture of honorable and peaceful transfers of power,”

Pre-elections domestic observation reporting is aimed at lighting the role of political parties’ members and leaders’ at subordinate level actions that contributed directly and strongly in violations of civic and political space.



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