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UN official urges leaders to ensure peaceful elections

By Staff Writer


President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Denis Francis, has called on the leaders of South Sudan to ensure that the country’s upcoming elections are both peaceful and satisfactory for the people.

“We hope, and we encourage that the elections take place, and that adequate preparation is made for the elections in order to ensure that it produces a good, strong result that the people of South Sudan are satisfied with and will not question,” he said during a press briefing yesterday.

Mr. Francis said the timing of the elections is a matter for the government and people of South Sudan to decide, emphasizing that the international community will be closely watching the process.

“The future of this country to a large extent will depend on the extent to which the international community feels satisfied that the country is on the right route,” he added.

Francis acknowledged that South Sudan faces significant challenges in its development, noting the practical realities the country faces, such as the lack of infrastructure and the high costs of building schools in remote areas.

“These are the practical realities that exist in this country that affect its ability to educate young children as much as the desire is there to do it, it cannot be done all at once and right away,” he said.

The UNGA President urged the people of South Sudan to be realistic about the country’s development, stating that “it takes hard work and dedication” to overcome the challenges.

“We have to be realistic, and I suppose the people of South Sudan have to bear in mind that development is a process. You don’t get up tomorrow morning and everything is fine.”

Mr. Francis concluded his visit to the country yesterday. While in Juba he met with President Salva Kiir and other top government officials.

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