The United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) announced on Wednesday its commitment to enhancing the capabilities of electoral officials in preparation for the December 2024 elections.

Nicholas Haysom, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMISS, made this announcement during the celebration of the 76th International Day of UN Peacekeepers in Juba.

Haysom stated that UNMISS aims to support the conduct of free, fair, and transparent elections in South Sudan by providing technical assistance and training to electoral bodies. He emphasized the importance of sharing best practices to facilitate the technical preparations necessary for successful elections.

“In addition to our efforts in election preparation, we are prioritizing the enhancement of South Sudan’s institutions and public services, including the justice sector,” Haysom explained. “This involves assisting in the investigation, prosecution, and adjudication of crimes, particularly those related to sexual and gender-based violence.”

Haysom emphasized the United Nations’ support for the sovereign right of the government and people of South Sudan to conduct their own elections. “I want to clarify the UN’s stance on elections to avoid any confusion,” he stated.

“Our role has been to provide technical and other assistance for electoral preparations, ensuring that elections are conducted freely, fairly, and credibly, and above all, peacefully, without becoming a source of conflict.”

Minister of Federal Affairs, Losuba Ludoro Wongo, acknowledged the ongoing preparations for elections, noting the establishment of a high-level inter-party committee by the President to address the necessary conditions.

“We are committed to ensuring that the people of South Sudan have a free, fair, and credible election, and we appreciate the continuous support provided by the United Nations in this regard,” he affirmed.

South Sudan is due to hold general elections in December 2024, though few observers expect it to meet the deadline.

Source: https://thetowerpost.com/2024/05/31/un-to-train-south-sudan-electoral-officials/