South Sudan peace guarantors have welcomed the recent reconstitution and formation of the elections commission and political parties council, saying it paves way for the conduct of next year’s polls.
This is contained in a November 9 statement issued by a group of guarantors, comprising of the African Union Mission in South Sudan (AUMISS), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
The statement was in response to presidential decrees on the commencement of the process to reconstitute South Sudan’s National Constitutional Review Commission (NCRC), National Elections Commission (NEC) and the Political Parties’ Council (PPC).
“These critical developments represent encouraging progress in the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS). They also highlight key milestones in preparing for and clarifying the way forward in the country’s Permanent Constitution-Making process and its first post-independence elections, scheduled for December 2024”, it partly reads.
It highlights the importance of the guarantees and processes outlined within the R-ARCSS, the Constitution Making Process Act (2022), the Political Parties Act (2022), and the recently enacted National Elections Act (2012) Amendment Act (2023) and urges the Parties signatory to the R-ARCSS and the Revitalized Transitional National Legislative Assembly (RTNLA) to ensure consensus on these issues, in addition to safeguarding the inclusion of women and other groups as envisioned within the legal framework of South Sudan. Earnest implementation of these national processes begins with establishing public trust and confidence in the institutions themselves.
“We also urge the government to finalize the reconstitution process with urgency in accordance with the existing legal frameworks and to increase the momentum in implementing all remaining benchmarks outlined in the R-ARCSS, with a focus on the remaining time within the transitional period based on realistic, action-oriented achievable timeframes. These efforts must be complemented by the immediate deployment of the Necessary Unified Forces (NUF) to ensure the peaceful completion of the transition,” the statement noted.
It further reminded the parties to expedite the decision-making process if they intend to conduct the polls as scheduled.
“With approximately 7 months remaining until the envisioned adoption of the Permanent Constitution and only 13 months before the scheduled Election date, the AUMISS, IGAD, and UNMISS urgently call on the Parties to the R-ARCSS to engage in immediate dialogue to resolve the outstanding challenges and for the Government to allocate and disburse the necessary resources to ensure the institutional readiness of the reconstituted NCRC, NEC, and PPC.
Greater political will, trust, and pragmatism from all sides will be essential to reach an agreement on key decisions that urgently need to be taken to ensure that peaceful, credible, and inclusive Elections can be conducted within the existing timeframe. In this regard, the AUMISS, IGAD, and UNMISS call upon all Parties signatory to the R-ARCSS and leaders to engage with a sense of urgency in constructive and inclusive dialogue and work towards the comprehensive implementation of the R-ARCSS”, concluded the statement.