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South Sudanese Refugees Want Peace Before Elections :: Uganda Radionetwork

South Sudanese Refugees Want Peace Before Elections

Robert Yokwe, one of the refugees in Bidibidi settlement, says that the peace partners should not allow South Sudan to slip back into the conflict under their watch.

Audio 3

South Sudanese refugees in West Nile have asked their government to prioritise peace and stability before organizing next year’s elections as stipulated in the 2018 peace deal.

Through their umbrella “South Sudanese refugee network Uganda” the refugees say there will be no fair and free elections unless key provisions in the deal are fully implemented. 

Their concerns result from the fact that the peace partners are yet to complete key provisions of the agreement and reports of renewed fighting in the northern part of the country. 

Robert Yokwe, one of the refugees in Bidibidi settlement, says that the peace partners should not allow South Sudan to slip back into the conflict under their watch. 

He further noted that if South Sudan is to have elections, there is a need to promote and protect human rights and ensure the polls are peaceful, free, fair and credible.

//Cue in; “If possible ….

Cue out….going to enjoy.”//

Ezra Kenyi, another refugee reasons that the involvement of the refugees in the peace process and possible elections will go a long way in achieving durable peace.

//Cue in; “We as refugees ….

Cue out…. ourselves.”//

Elias Wudango, another refugee has called upon parties in the conflict to embrace dialogue to solve their differences and return the country to normalcy.

//Cue in; “We are all one ….

Cue out….understand it.”//

According to the September 2018 Revitalized Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (RARCSS), South Sudan is supposed to go to the polls in 2023 after the implementation of key provisions.

These include among others the unification of formerly warring forces, repatriation of refugees and displaced people, a population census, and the drafting of a permanent constitution of the East African country.

Another key provision of the peace deal is for an amendment of the 2012 Political Parties Act of the country, followed by its approval in parliament to enable the free and democratic registration of political parties. However, key provisions of the deal are yet to be implemented.

In December last year, the UN warned that South Sudan’s peace deal was under serious threat due to the slow progress of implementation, something the government blamed largely on insufficient funds.

The world’s newest nation has suffered from chronic instability since independence in 2011 including a brutal five-year civil war between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his deputy Dr. Riek Machar that claimed close to 400,000 people and displaced millions from their homes.

Just this week, media reports indicated that South Sudan is on the brink of yet another conflict after the military surrounded the residency of the First vice president and opposition leader, Dr Riek Machar.

While speaking to Voice of America South Sudan in focus program this week, the Country’s minister of information Michael Makuei Lueth said, Machar will remain under military siege until the Soudan Peoples Liberation Movement in Opposition- SPLM-IO rejoins all the mechanisms on security arrangements which they abandoned last week, over the continued attack on their forces in Upper Nile and Unity states.

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