Kiir urged not to ‘take eyes off the ball’ for Sudan
AUTHOR: Daniel Garang Deng | PUBLISHED: May 24, 2023
The UN Special Representative of the Secretary General, Nicholas Haysom | Credit | UN
The Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of the United Nations, Nicholas Haysom, has called on President Salva Kiir not to forget the implementation of the roadmap as he focuses on peace mediation for Sudan.
As he commends President Kiir for making the efforts in engaging the warring parties in Sudan to cease fire and come to the negotiation table for dialogue, Haysom said the conflict in Sudan should not be an excuse to sideline the roadmap and preparations for elections.
“I recommended the president for using his longstanding relations with the parties to support the various ceasefire interventions, and his own readiness to offer himself as a mediator between the two parties,” Haysom said.
“However, I encouraged the president to also continue making progress towards implementation of the Roadmap. This is not the time to take our eyes off the ball. What we can learn from Sudan is how quickly matters can unravel if neglected.”
In early March, Haysom stated that 2023 was a “make or break” year for South Sudanese and the parties to the revitalized peace agreement.
“We still see 2023 as a ‘make or break’ year for this nation if it is to fully implement the peace agreement, which is to suggest that matters cannot be deferred to 2024,” Haysom reiterated the statement on Wednesday. “The scale and importance of what remains to be done do not leave room for inaction.”
With South Sudan expecting its first-ever general elections in December 2024, the permanent constitution, election laws and the reconstituted electoral institutions are still not in place.
On April 16, a day after the war broke out in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, the IGAD heads of state selected Kiir to lead the IGAD team for Sudan peace mediation along with Kenyan President William Ruto and Djibouti President Ismael Omar.
Recently, the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Deng Dau, said despite attention given to Sudan conflict, the government “has not lost focus on its own problems” – referring to the implementation of the peace agreement.
However, the chief of the UN mission in the country, who is helping in elections preparations, said “The constitution-making process is in our estimate 10 months behind schedule, elections planning is 8 months behind schedule, and several aspects of the transitional security arrangements are simply hanging.”
The creation of a conductive political and civic space for these processes is also important because there must be avenues for constructive dialogue between citizens and support for their participation in these processes that will shape the future of South Sudan, the UN envoy underscored.