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Yoannes Amum Nyiker, NEC secretary General (L), Timo Olkkonen, EU ambassador (M) and Titus Osundina(R) during the signing ceremony

European Union provides over 3 million dollar to facilitate elections in South Sudan

The European Union and the United Nations Development Program on Thursday signed agreement worth 3.2 million U.S dollars to support enabling environment for the conduct of the 2024 elections in South Sudan.

Timo Olkkonen, the European Union Ambassador in South Sudan, conduct of free, fair and credible lections requires holistic approach that includes respect for human rights, equality and inclusiveness of participation, access to information, and appropriate legislative frameworks and independent institutions.

He also noted, “Security is paramount to create a conducive context in which the electoral processes can take place”.

Olkkonen was speaking during press conference held at the EU mission in Juba.

Yoannes Amum Nyiker, the Secretary General for South Sudan National Election Commission, said the legal framework for elections is not yet established.

However, he noted the conduct of elections will help transition South Sudan toward peace and stability.

“We are talking of elections but as we speak the legal frameworks are not yet there; leave alone the supreme law of the nation. The mobilization of resources and our displaced citizens are some of the challenges we are concerned with,” Nyiker said.

“While we have high ambition to conduct elections, we are worried because the time is against us as we are left with 17 months to go for elections. What we require from you (EU) as our partners is to urge the parties to the peace agreement to fast track those processes that have not yet been accomplished,” he added.

Titus Osundina, the Deputy Country Representative for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), urged the parties to the 2018 revitalized peace agreement to create conducive environment for the upcoming 2024 elections.

“A technically acceptable election is of course important, but before the elections can take place there must be an enabling environment that sets the foundations for credible inclusive elections,” Osundina said.

He said there is immense hope among South Sudanese that elections will mark an end to the transition phase and usher in democracy, good governance and development.

The parties to the peace agreement are yet to complete the graduation and deployment of 83,000 unified forces, enactment of electoral laws and institutions and other necessary mechanisms key to creating enabling environment for conduct of credible elections.

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