Op-Ed | South Sudan Conflict: Election in Question as Analysts Raise Concerns

Amidst the hopes for a peaceful transition in South Sudan, experts are expressing doubts over the country’s readiness to hold an election.

Amidst the hopes for a peaceful transition in South Sudan, experts are expressing doubts over the country’s readiness to hold an election.

Analysts argue that certain prerequisites, such as a permanent constitution, a referendum, and a comprehensive census, should be firmly established before the nation ventures into the electoral process.

As the scars of the conflict that ravaged the young nation are still healing, South Sudanese citizens eagerly anticipate the opportunity to democratically elect their leaders.

However, experts, including the international community, warn that proceeding with an election without ensuring the necessary foundational elements could risk exacerbating existing tensions and potentially plunging South Sudan back into chaos.

“A permanent constitution is crucial for establishing a clear legal framework and defining the rights and responsibilities of both the government and its citizens,” highlights a political analyst. “It serves as the bedrock upon which a transparent and accountable electoral process can be built.”

In addition to a permanent constitution, a referendum is deemed necessary to solidify the consent of the South Sudanese people in any potential constitutional changes. By seeking direct input from citizens, the nation can ensure that the constitutional framework truly reflects the aspirations and needs of its diverse population.

“Engaging in a comprehensive census is equally vital to guarantee inclusive representation and accurate resource allocation,” emphasizes an expert in governance and conflict resolution. “It is imperative to have an accurate picture of the population before proceeding with an election to ensure fair and equitable representation for all communities.”

The path to a successful election is complex, requiring substantial efforts from government authorities, civil society organizations, and international partners. Rushing the electoral process without conducting these foundational steps risks delegitimizing the outcome and undermining the hope for a stable and inclusive future for South Sudan.

The South Sudanese government has acknowledged the concerns raised by experts and stressed its commitment to addressing these critical prerequisites. President Salva Kiir has emphasized the need for a transparent and inclusive constitutional reform process, prioritizing the voices and aspirations of all citizens.

The international community has also signaled its willingness to support South Sudan in its transition towards a stable democracy. Donor nations and international organizations have pledged technical assistance, funding, and expertise to facilitate the establishment of a permanent constitution, a fair referendum, and an accurate census.

While the road towards holding a credible election may seem daunting, the South Sudanese people remain resilient and determined to actively participate in shaping the future of their nation. They honor the sacrifices made during the conflict and strive towards building a peaceful and prosperous South Sudan.

As the country sets its sights on a potential election, it must prioritize the establishment of a permanent constitution, a referendum, and a comprehensive census. By doing so, South Sudan can lay the groundwork for a transparent, inclusive, and credible electoral process, ensuring that the voices of all its citizens are heard and their aspirations realized. Only then can the nation truly embark on its journey toward lasting peace and democratic governance!

The author, , is a South Sudanese journalist and researcher on the role of social media triggers in conflicts in 2013 and 2016 in South Sudan. He can be reached at malualmakuach77@gmail.com.

The views expressed in ‘opinion’ articles published by Radio Tamazuj are solely those of the writer. The veracity of any claims made is the responsibility of the author, not Radio Tamazuj.