23rd July 2024
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Norway urges ‘democratic’ elections in South Sudan

Author: Chany Ninrew | Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Norwegian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andreas Kravik speaks to the media in Juba. (-)

The Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister voiced concerns about the pending critical provisions necessary for South Sudan to hold successful elections.

Andreas Kravik spoke at the end of his two-day visit to South Sudan, where he engaged with a range of government officials, representatives of the international community, and civil society.

The senior diplomatic official said he discussed South Sudan’s pressing issues including the general elections scheduled for December 2024.

Mr. Kravik said Norway is hoping to see democratic elections as the only way to end the transitional period peacefully.

According to him, a peaceful end to the transition in South Sudan requires political will to implement the 10-point recommendations of AU, UN and IGAD trilateral mechanism.

“I confirmed Norway’s strong support for the people of South Sudan which is based on fundamental values of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law,” Mr. Kravik said.

“We discussed various issues of mutual interest, chief amongst them the upcoming elections at the end of the year. I underlined Norway’s unwavering commitment to credible and democratic elections as the best means to ensure a peaceful end to the transitional period.”

“In my meetings, I urged the Government to urgently address the ten points raised by the trilateral mechanism (IGAD, AU and UN) last summer.”

Mr. Kravik called for progress on some key aspects fundamental to the Peace Agreement and the election process.

“This includes reform of the security sector with a focus on politically neutral security forces, sufficient government funding of the electoral bodies, and that the parties jointly decide on the appropriate modalities of the elections.”

“These elements must be addressed as promptly as possible and before April to adhere to the timeline set out by the SRSG.” Mr. Kravik said.

During his visit, Mr. Kravik met South Sudanese civil society representatives, who underscored the need for an opening of political and civic space as South Sudan prepares for elections.

The deputy Foreign Minister also emphasized the importance of civic and political space in meetings with government officials.

“We also discussed other vital issues such as the importance of ensuring sufficient space for civic and political engagement and transparency in the financial sector, two issues where Norway has serious concerns regarding the current state of affairs.”

“The world is watching how South Sudan confronts these issues of fundamental importance for the people of this country. Norway sincerely hopes that the government will rise to the occasion and act with determination and credibility to ensure a prosperous and free South Sudan based on democracy, rule of law and human rights.”

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