Kiir, Machar retreat should focus on expediting graduation of unified forces, not election, activists say

Civil society says the upcoming presidential retreat in Uganda should not focus on the election but discuss the delay in the graduation of the unified forces and not about the 2023 general election. President Salva Kiir and his First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar are set to meet in Entebbe next month at the invitation of the President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni.

The Center for Peace and Advocacy (CPA), a human rights organization based in Juba, made this call on Monday. Ter Manyang Gatwech, CPA’s executive director. He says Uganda should focus on the graduation of unified forces as one of the guarantors of the Revitalized Agreement.

Manyang warned that the country would not have a free, fair, and credible election unless the parliament passed the permanent constitution for refugees and internally displaced persons to return home.
He stated the need for dignified repatriation, rehabilitation, resettlement, and reintegration of IDPs and refugees from the neighboring countries.

“There is a need for the South Sudan Housing and population census to be conducted to determine the size of the South Sudan population that will help the Government redraw the current internal geographical Constituencies,” he said.
The Activist has called Troika, AU, European Union, and IGAD Guarantors to pressure the President to drop the sanctioned individuals in his government.
He claimed that those sanctioned individuals are obstacles to peace implementation because they fear losing the government’s protection.

Manyang further said lack of Political will and shrinking civic space is another cause of the slow implementation of the Revitalized Agreement.

The UN Human Rights Commission warned that any plan to hold an election without a permanent constitution and electoral laws would fuel violence and polarize the citizen.