Activist scorns at UN’s call for election

Activist scorns at UN’s call for election
Edmund Yakani, Executive Director Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (photo credit: courtesy)

An activist has criticised the United Nations’ push for elections, saying the exercise could plunge the country into a fresh wave of violence.

The Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), Edmond Yakani, warned that pushing parties into elections without implementation of the critical provisions of the agreement would return South Sudan to war.

He underscored the need to implement the crucial chapters to ease the implementation of the agreement. Some of the areas he mentioned were the Political Parties Act, the reconstitution of the National Political Party Council, reform in the National Elections Act, reconstitution of the National Election Commission, and the security laws for free, fair, and creditable elections.

On Wednesday, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, in a report submitted to the world body’s Security Council, called on parties to the revitalised peace agreement to decide on the elections and avoid unilateral actions that may undermine the environment for polls.

Guterres said, “I call upon the parties to immediately engage in a broad-based discussion and agree as soon as possible on a clear road map for the end of the transitional period.” They should again show national leadership by completing the constitution and holding free, fair, credible, and inclusive elections in the little time that is left.”

The UN boss also underlined the importance of “full implementation of the revitalised agreement in letter and spirit.”

Mr. Yakani added that ending inter-communal, and cattle-related violence, and engaging the SPLM/A-IO Kit-Gwang faction were some of the issues that should be resolved ahead of the anticipated 2023 polls.

“If the country is pushed by the UN to conduct elections without proper preparations, we will return to violence.” We need to make sure that the legal framework for credible elections is in place,” said Yakani.

South Sudan is left with less than eight months to the end of the transitional period. More than 50 per cent of the 2018 peace agreement remains pending.