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South Sudan opposition wary of election violence due to delay in unification of forces

The opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-in opposition has expressed fears of violence during general election slated for December if the unification of security forces is not completed.

The SPLM-IO Secretary General for Unity State, William Gai Riak Machar told Juba Echo on Thursday that there is high risk of holding violent elections unless the parties in the transitional unity government complete the unification of the 83,000 forces on time.

“The upcoming general election can only be safe when we have one national army, but those saying we hold elections before reunification of the forces are talking different things,” Riak said during an interview in Bentiu town of Unity State.

His remarks came in the aftermath of Deng Muon Liah, the Chairperson of the Unity State Youth League of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Government (SPLM-IG) led by President Salva Kiir, saying that the country is ready for the national elections.

“The main reason why we are ready for the elections is because we are tired of the current bloated government, even citizens are tired of this huge government which does not provide services to them,” Muon said.

He added that they are not concerned about the preparation readiness of rival political parties for the elections.

“We cannot mind about others political parties’ readiness, those who will refuse to participate in the upcoming elections will remain, and we will continue with general elections, first we have now started our political rallies and this will be followed with the endorsement of the Chairman of the SPLM party comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit,” Muon said.

The current transitional government established under the 2018 revitalized peace agreement has five Vice Presidents and about 550 members of the lower and upper houses of the legislative assembly.

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has called on the parties to create conducive environment for the upcoming general elections, which includes the full graduation and deployment of the unified forces and also enactment of the permanent constitution.

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