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Fate of 2024 Elections depend on peace parties-Ramaphosa

By William Madouk


South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa appeals to parties to navigate challenges ahead and exit the country through peaceful democratic exercise.

Appreciating his meeting with principals and parties to the peace deal, Ramaphosa was grateful for “frank” and “comprehensive” briefing on the September 2018 agreement.

“The people of South Sudan are eagerly waiting for the general elections, which will bring an end to the transitional period,” Ramaphosa said in his last statement, in Juba before takeoff.

Ramaphosa on Thursday wrapped up his three-day visit to South Sudan with a last moment meeting at Presidential Palace, J1.

South African minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Grace Naledi Pandor, read Ramaphosa’s statement.

According to Ramaphosa, the elections will be a watershed moment in South Sudan’s transition to democracy.

“Lasting peace, stability, and development will depend on how the collective leadership navigates the challenges ahead,” the South African president added.

According to him, it requires addressing outstanding provisions of the revitalized agreement, such as adoption of the constitution.

Adding to that, the 2018 peace deal is ‘a very comprehensive’ commitment on how to take the country forward, and the parties to it must be applauded, he noted.

“Progress in the implementation of the provisions of the agreement is laudable, but it is clear more work is still outstanding,” he underlined.

The South African president reiterated his commitment to support the South Sudanese as they go through the transitional period.

He asserted that they would provide every support possible to ensure a democratic and peaceful end to the transitional period.

He lauded the people of South Sudan for the historic agreement signed in 2018, which brought an end to a conflict that almost derailed the prospects of building a stable, peaceful, and prosperous country.

“It has been five years since that peace agreement was signed. … The ceasefire agreement is holding, and threats to the country’s peace and stability have been reduced,” Ramaphosa continued.

“We believe that the ongoing work in the establishment of the unified security forces for the country will further improve the situation,” he praised.

Moreover, Ramaphosa welcomes the reconstitution of key institutions such as the National Elections Commission, the Political Parties Council, and the National Constitution Review Commission.

Besides, the minister of foreign affairs, Dr. James Pitia Morgan, cited that President Salva Kiir appreciated Ramaphosa’s visit, adding that the roadmap, which extended the transition period for two years, will expire this year.

“So, this is the time that the country has been declared as a country that is going to go for elections at the end of the year 2024,” said Morgan.

He stated that in the African Union calendar, about 15 countries on the continent are set to conduct elections, including South Africa in May 2024 and South Sudan in December 2024.

Dr. Morgan said the histories of two sisterly countries are intertwined; for instance, when South Africa was struggling against the Apartheid regime, South Sudan was also on a journey to get its freedom.

“Now that we have achieved our freedom, and this freedom is for the people, it is the people who exercise this freedom through what we are talking about as elections,” he noted.

Presently, the parties to the peace accord are engaged in a dialogue to agree on the way forward for the 2024 general election.


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