MACHAR-No security arrangements, no elections
By James Atem Kuir
The First Vice President of the Republic and leader of the main opposition group(SPLM-IO)yesterday said that there will be no elections at the end of transitional unless unified forces are graduated and deployed and a number of provisions key to the electoral process implemented.
The Revitalized Peace Agreement that ended the years of civil war that began in 2013, stipulates that general elections be conducted at the end of the current interim period in 2023but the parties to implementing the accord have continued to come under increasing pressure as time runs out and dilemmas stemming from lack of funding for the peace process and arms embargo that prevented the government to purchase weapons for the unified forces continued to hinder progress.
“There is debate these days on whether the elections will be conducted without unified forces personnel I say no. we need to secure the environment in which we will conduct the elections for it to be conducted, the first requisite is tha tyou will have to have the security arrangements implemented. Two, we have a lot of refugees in our neighbouring countries…there are more than 1.2 million refugees in Uganda that will need to come back. In Kenya, we have nearly 600,000 people, in DRC we have over 150000, in CAR we have over 100,000, in Ethiopia we have over 700,000, and in Sudan we have nearly two million. If you want to conduct elections, all these people must come back. You resettle them and then conduct the elections,” remarked Dr Machar during the fourth National Liberation Council Convention at Freedom Hall
He stressed that the graduation of unified forces would give confidence to South Sudanese living in refugee camp outside the country to return home.