UJOSS trains journalists for 2024 election coverage

The Union of journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS) has started preparing journalists for the anticipated general elections in 2024 as stipulated in the 2022 roadmap.

Forty journalists are being trained on elections coverage, safety and protection during the elections.

“Today is majorly about us starting to think of how we are going to cover elections as journalists because elections have been happening in the region. Many of us might have not experienced election and 2024 is really very near,” said Oyet Patrick, UJOSS president.

South Sudan is yet expecting to experience election since its independence in 2011.

The other East African countries have conducted elections where both journalists, politicians and activists took part as observers.

Kenya conducted its election in August this year. Its observations were used to establish what journalists should prepare for in the 2024 election.

“…and we would like to see, for example, according to the program, where will election take place? How is it going to take place?” Patrick added.

Annie Rashidi Mulumba, Civic space and protection officer at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, said despite the observations from the neighboring countries, South Sudan has got its own exceptional way of dealing with its context that journalists ought to know.

“…we have our context as South Sudanese. It is very exceptional and we know we managed to deal with issues with our own realities which are not realities of France or UK or any other country. So in this context, how are we going to match out issues in a way that we also protect ourselves?” Rashidi explained.

The training focuses on civic space that should be paid attention to both during the campaign and voting process.

“…fundamental freedoms, human right defender, safety and protection. How do you monitor and report on an issue without involving into danger. These are the difficult issues we are discussing today,” Rashidi added.

According to the Revitalized Peace agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, the country is supposed to hold election by 2023 after the end of the transitional period.

However, the parties to the agreement in August this year agreed to extend the life expand of the revitalized peace agreement for 24 more months in order to implement the remaining key provisions such as the permanent constitution, establishment of CTRH and Hybrid court.

Now, South Sudan expect its election in December 2024.