JUBA – South Sudan’s parties to the revitalized peace agreement announced on Tuesday that they have achieved tentative agreements on several critical aspects surrounding the conduct of elections in December 2024, including security provisions for candidates and election personnel.
The parties reached these understandings during a two-day consultative dialogue organized by the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) at the Pyramid Hotel in Juba.
While these agreements highlight potential areas of consensus, they do not yet constitute a finalized roadmap for the entire electoral process.
In a joint communique signed by the SPLM-IG, SPLM-IO, SSOA, OPP, and FDs, the parties urged the transitional government to “urgently provide ample and adequate funding” to the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Permanent Political Commission (PPC), and National Constitutional Review Commission (NCRC).”
They further emphasized the need for the NEC and NCRC to be “sworn in without delay.”
South Sudan is slated to hold its first elections since independence in December 2024, but conflicting statements from the signatories of the 2018 peace agreement have cast doubt on the feasibility of this timeline.
The ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IG), led by President Salva Kiir Mayardit, advocates for holding elections as planned. However, the opposition SPLM-IO and its allies contend that the country remains unprepared for such an endeavor.
The opposition groups cite ongoing insecurity, incomplete tasks outlined in the revitalized peace agreement, and the absence of a conducive civic space as key reasons for their reservations.
They have also accused SPLM-IG security agencies of manipulating the political landscape.
In the communique, the parties called upon the government to provide “professional security for NEC staff, election candidates, political parties, voters, and installations during elections period.”
They further stipulated the need for “increased security to end the killings, abductions, disappearances, torture, and sexual and gender-based violence” and for the establishment of “unrestricted civic and political space for political parties, civil society, and the media” to promote civic education on the elections.
Other key points of agreement include the need for dialogue on conducting a peaceful election, ensuring 35% female representation as mandated by quotas, and guaranteeing representation for persons with disabilities.
Finally, the parties agreed that “a determination be made on clear procedures for out-of-country participation by diaspora and refugee populations in the electoral process, as well as in-country engagement by IDPs and returnees.”