President Kiir 2024 National Speech to Address Key Concerns Raised by CEPO
In a recent statement, the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) expressed their appreciation for President Kiir’s decision to pardon 20 inmates across the country ahead of the new year in 2024.
CEPO emphasized the importance of promoting and protecting the rule of law and human rights in a democratic society. However, they also urged the President to extend this act of clemency to the detained young activists who have been advocating for transparency and accountability in the country. Among the activists mentioned by CEPO are Morris Mabor, Peter Ajak Biar, Simon Yan in Renk county, and Raphael Juma Zachariah, among others. CEPO sees the release of these activists as a significant gift to society and their families in the year 2024.
Mr. Edmund Yakani, the Executive Director of CEPO, highlighted the importance of President’s upcoming speech for the year 2023/2024. He called for the speech to address key national political transitional priorities. These priorities include concrete guarantees for the upcoming December 2024 elections, adequate financing of pending tasks related to the transitional security arrangements and political transitional processes, and the need to ensure an open and unrestricted civic and political space for all parties.
Yakani also emphasized the need for political decisions from the top leadership to move forward with the political transitional process. Additionally, he raised questions about the new proposal for the Kenya peace talk initiative and its potential to surpass the outcomes of the Rome Peace Talks. He urged the President to shed light on the new approach and clarify whether the new talks would build upon the progress made in Rome.
The delay in the payment of the new civil servant salary structure was also raised as a concern. CEPO called for an explanation regarding the reasons behind the delay. Furthermore, Yakani expressed hope that the President’s speech would touch upon other pressing issues, such as the release of the constituency development fund promised to the nation, the resolution of ongoing violence between communities, and the need to address frictions among state political leaders that hinder the delivery of social services to citizens.
CEPO also stressed the importance of addressing the welfare of redeployed forces and the completion of the unification of the forces. They called for strategies to meet the preconditions for lifting the United Nations arms embargo on South Sudan and the establishment of a timely transitional justice process through the enactment of relevant bills before the parliament.
Finally, CEPO urged the President to prioritize the operationalization of the African Union Convention on Internal Displaced Persons, known as the Kampala Convention on IDPs.
In conclusion, CEPO urged the President to direct relevant government institutions to domesticate recently ratified and signed United Nations human rights treaties or conventions, particularly the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
They expressed their anticipation and respect for the President’s speech for the year 2023/2024, hoping that it would address the raised questions and concerns regarding the country’s political transition.