National, News

US urges dialogue for genuine elections

By No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper


United States of America is calling for urgent action to create the conditions necessary for genuine and peaceful elections scheduled for December this year.

This message was delivered by a senior U.S. delegation that visited Juba from May 21-24.

The delegation, which included, USAID National Security Director Colin Thomas-Jensen, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Enrique Roig and USAID Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator Mark Billera, met with South Sudanese leaders to stress the importance of addressing key issues ahead of upcoming elections.

“The purpose of our trip is to call for urgent action to create the conditions necessary for genuine and peaceful elections,” Colin said in a statement seen by this outlet.

“These include addressing the lack of political and civic space, politically neutral and unified forces, and full funding and operationalization of necessary electoral institutions,” he added.

To achieve this, U.S. urged the launch of direct dialogue among transitional government leaders, including President Salva Kiir, First Vice President Riek Machar, and all members of the presidency.

Such dialogue, colin said, would send an important signal to the people and to donor countries that the country’s leaders are committed to peace and the rejection of violence as a tool for political competition.

The U.S. delegation also called for the full and immediate implementation of exemptions for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), UN agencies, humanitarian organizations, and diplomatic missions.

“Those who seek to impose taxes, fees, and other inappropriate costs on humanitarian assistance are diverting aid away from South Sudanese people in need,” he added.

The U.S. has long been engaged in South Sudan, with its involvement rooted in values including peace, human rights, democracy, and the right of the South Sudanese people to choose leaders who respond to their needs.



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