7 May 2018

South Sudan: UN Tells South Sudan to Stop Election Drive

Photo: Eric Kanalstein
Fighting between government and opposition forces has intensified in Unity region in South Sudan

The United Nations wants the South Sudan government to concentrate on peace efforts instead of preparing for elections.

The assistant Secretary General for UN Peacekeeping Operations, Ms Bintou Keita, told Juba to refrain from organising elections before the revitalisation of the peace agreement.

South Sudan factions are expected to hold the last round of talks on May 17-21.

Ms Keita said in a statement that it was illogical for the young nation to organise any elections in the face of the worsening political and economic crises.

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"The current political and economic situations in South Sudan are not conducive for free and fair elections," she said.

The South Sudan government recently announced that it would hold a General Election should the upcoming final round of peace talks fail to bear fruits.

"If nothing transpires from the upcoming revitalisation forum, the government will conduct an election to legitimise the leadership," Information minister and government spokesman Michael Makuei said.

But Ms Keita said the UN would not support the elections unless they were driven by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad)-led peace talks.

"The only plan is the high level revitalisation forum," she said.

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