UN warns improper security arrangments could spoil election plans

UN warns improper security arrangments could spoil election plans
Nicholas Haysom, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General at the previous RJMEC meeting in August 2021 (photo credit: courtesy)

The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General Nicholas Haysom has warned that the slow implementation of the security arrangements could obstruct election after the end of the transitional period.

“We witnessed an increase in violence particularly communal violence and humanitarian challenges. The slow security arrangements can be an obstacle for the coming election,” he said.

Mr. Haysom was speaking at the 19th Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) meeting in Juba yesterday.

He said the perennial inter-communal violence in some parts of the country especially the one in Tombura County has led to the killing of four humanitarian workers and displacement of 470 aid workers.

According to the agreement, the election is expected to be held at the end of the transitional period in 2022. But President Salva Kiir has repeatedly said the election will take place in 2023. On the other hand, the main provisions of the agreement remained unimplemented.

In a recent statement, the UNMISS boss Haysom warned the leadership of the country that general elections in  South Sudan could turn into a disaster instead of the nation’s turning point.

He stressed that electoral preparations should be conducted alongside constitution-making processes, citing the significance of both processes.

The same sentiment was echoed by the Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation, which also warned that any elections in South Sudan without proper transitional security arrangements and genuine implementation of the reforms proposed in the agreement and citizens-centered constitution will be a risk to the nation.

It hinted that a conducive environment for credible elections was yet to be achieved through the implementation of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.

Edmund Yakani, Executive Director of CEPO, urged the presidency to take responsibility for transitioning the country from violence to peace.

The recent split within the SPLM/A-IO is likely to have another setback on the stalemate of the security arrangement due to the continued clashes between the factions. Since the outbreak of the Magenis conflict in the Upper Nile, the groups have been on-and-off confrontations.