The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has called on South Sudanese parties to step up efforts to advance transitional security arrangements, so as to hold elections as scheduled.

The President and other parties of South Sudan are encouraged to step up efforts to fully implement outstanding issues such as enactment of the permanent constitution, enactment of electoral laws and establishment of electoral institutions, said Nicholas Haysom, the special representative of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and head of UNMISS, on Wednesday.

Under a road map to complete South Sudan’s transition to elections and a new government, which was extended in August 2022, the parties agreed to hold elections after 24 months in December 2024, Xinhua news agency reported.

The constitutional-making process is 10 months behind schedule and the elections’ planning is eight months behind schedule, Haysom said, adding that several aspects of the transitional security arrangements remain incomplete.

Much of the regional and international attention has shifted to neighbouring Sudan, and yet South Sudan’s peace process is at a critical moment where it could either make progress or retard, he said.

Haysom added that he met recently with President Salva Kiir to discuss developments in South Sudan and the implications of the Sudan crisis on South Sudan.

“We agreed that the longer the Sudanese conflict continues, there will be significant security, economic and humanitarian consequences for South Sudan,” he told journalists in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.

The UN official said the UN Security Council has specifically requested an inquiry into whether the country will be ready for elections, and it has asked those in the UNMISS who are supporting the elections to render their support on a factual basis.

Haysom also added if the ongoing conflict in Sudan lasts for a longer period, it definitely would impact South Sudan’s security and economy, and also worsen the already dire humanitarian situation.

“On security, economic and humanitarian challenges more generally, we have emphasised that the nation will have to grapple with multiple challenges, including the effects of the Sudanese situation without losing sight of the critical need to address its own internal security challenges,” he said.


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