A South Sudanese parliamentary delegation led by Speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba left for Rome for pilgrimage, the first deputy speaker said.
Addressing the August House in Juba on Thursday in an extraordinary sitting, Oyet Nathaniel, the First Deputy Speaker of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly, said the speaker, accompanied by several MPs, had gone for a pilgrimage in Rome, Italy.
“We have a parliamentary delegation that travelled with the speaker this morning to Rome for a pilgrimage,” Oyet said, adding that the delegation is expected to return early next week.
Speaking to journalists after the session, John Agany, the parliament’s spokesperson, confirmed that the speaker left the country for Rome without providing details.
“We have been informed that Speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba has gone to Rome for Pilgrimage. She has led a group of members of parliament to Rome. I was not informed what items to be discussed in that pilgrimage,” he said.
South Sudan is governed by a transitional government created after a 2018 peace agreement between President Salva Kiir, opposition leader Riek Machar and other political figures.
General elections were due to be conducted in February 2023, but the transitional government failed to meet key clauses of the peace agreement, including drafting a permanent constitution.
In August 2022, the parties to the agreement extended their transitional government for two years beyond the scheduled date, citing difficulties in implementing the peace agreement.
The parties, however, assured the South Sudanese population and the international community that these difficulties would be resolved before the elections, scheduled for December 2024.