UN official warns South Sudan must secure public confidence to hold peaceful elections News
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UN official warns South Sudan must secure public confidence to hold peaceful elections

The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Nicholas Haysom stressed that South Sudan must secure public confidence to ensure that its first post-independence elections in December 2024 will be held peacefully.

Haysom suggested Thursday that South Sudan improve gender and political representation in the country by reconstituting government bodies such as the Political Parties Council, National Elections Commission and National Constitutional Review Commission. He stated that this would increase public support and confidence in elections as the country “emerg[es] from divisive conflict.”

Haysom also highlighted the importance of fair and transparent elections:

[T]he honest assessment of many observers and stakeholders is that the current political and civic operating space does not offer a level playing field … it is imperative for the parties to agree on a code of conduct around free, fair, and transparent competition. UNMISS cautions against the temptation towards unilateral actions that undermine the trust that is needed amongst all stakeholders[.]

Haysom called upon South Sudan to resolve its humanitarian crisis, stating that attacks against aid workers in South Sudan have hindered humanitarian assistance and that UN agencies have experienced difficulties in responding to the needy in South Sudan due to a shortage of funds.

On March 7, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called upon South Sudan’s government to cease human rights violations in the country. It stated that armed conflicts and conflict-related sexual violence had occurred in South Sudan. On May 17, Doctors Without Borders warned about the deteriorating humanitarian crisis across Twic County, South Sudan. On June 20, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned two South Sudanese officials for engaging in sexual violence.