Yes Nairobi talks are important, but let’s not sleep on election and transition

Yes Nairobi talks are important, but let’s not sleep on election and transition

In the beginning of May 2024, the spokesperson of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO), Pal Mai Deng, revealed at party function that the signatories to the revitalised peace agreement had commenced the negotiations after facing pressure from civil society and the peace granters to hold dialogue and come up with a consensus offer the fate of elections.

Mai hailed the SPLM-IG for accepting the call for dialogue on the evaluation of the implementation of the agreement, where he said the parties to the agreement were in serious engagement trying to evaluate the implementation of the agreement and make a decision on holding the election based on the roadmap.

While details about the said dialogue have remained scanty, the importance of such negotiation cannot be over emphasised than this. Many people will remember the unsettling bickering between the protagonist SPLM parties over the subject of election. It was polarising. The SPLM wing in government pushed really hard to set the country on a path of election against the protest from the SPLM opposition wing that sought to justify the reasons why the country cannot rush into an exercise with no proper preparations.

But with the coming of the Nairobi Peace Process that officially began last week, focus seems to have shifted to the Kenya’s capital where the government delegation is negotiating with the long-term holdout groups. It is irrefutable fact the government of South Sudan needs to put the differences with these groups to rest. For the country to progress, we need  a common purpose and a clear conscience from any leadership. This is a step that is crucial for achieving political stability.

However, as the negotiation goes on, there is a need for the parties to the peace agreement to fasttrack their talks on the transition and, most importantly, the election, whose fate now still remains unclear. It is possible to balance.