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JUBA, JANUARY 25th 2023 (SUDANS POST) – South Sudan government has started preparations for the elections slated for end of transitional period in December 2024, and has asked the United Nations to accord an electoral assistance, according to a letter sent by the government to the UN via its mission in South Sudan.

The letter obtained by Sudans Post stressed that the unity government has an obligation to conduct elections at the end of the transitional period and as such the government is appealing for help from the world body to prepare for the polls.

“…. there is a need to begin planning and preparations for the elections, including establishing the legal framework, reconstitution of the National Elections Commission, working with political parties, civil society and the media raising public awareness and creating conditions for inclusive participation of citizens,” the letter signed by minister of cabinet affairs Martin Elia Lomoro reads in part.

“Acknowledging this, the Government of South Sudan hereby requests the United Nations to provide electoral assistance to the government and relevant national institutions in support to the preparations and conduct of peaceful, inclusive and credible elections in the Republic of South Sudan,” the letter dated January 24, 2023 added.

The Reconstituted Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGONU) was formed in February 2020 under the terms of the revitalized peace agreement which was signed in September 2018 to end a five-year-old deadly conflict.

It is provided for in the deal that the government conducts free and fair elections at the end of a thirty-six-months transitional period ending next month. But the parties extended the transitional period for twenty-four more months with elections being scheduled for December 2024.

“The Government of South Sudan would be grateful if necessary steps could be immediately taken to work toward this goal through the provision of comprehensive electoral assistance to the upcoming electoral processes of South Sudan as envisioned within the R-ARCSS,” the government said in the letter.

According to the 2018 peace agreement, elections should be conducted when all provisions of the revitalized peace agreement are implemented by the transitional government.

These activities include but not limited to the deployment of the necessary unified forces, which is necessary in the protection of civilians and to also avoid another split within the army in case the result of the elections is contested by any of the parties, creation of necessary conditions for return of the displaced, and reparation and healing.

Also short-named NUF, the Necessary Unified Forces have been graduated in its first phase, but have not yet been armed and deployed. The government is claiming that it has no guns to arm them as it continues to blame a 2018 UN arms embargo for the country’s ability to import weapons for the army. - Sudans Post

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