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    President Kiir differs with Machar on election date

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    Somali Magazine Sep 24,2023-South Sudan President Salva Kiir says the country’s elections will run on schedule, potentially providing certainty around the timelines of the country’s transition but raising a new storm with his rivals.

    The head of state expressed frustrations that he is tired of the transition government because there are too many vice presidents.

    “If my deputies are the ones who go and encourage people who talk about no elections, I can tell them that there is no extension of the agreement or roadmap,” he said during an economic conference in Juba last week.

    Kiir maintained his commitment to ensure elections are held, ruling out any possibilities of extending the current transitional government. He said elections would take place, despite delays in implementing key provisions in the peace agreement.

    “We are going for elections, and you should prepare yourselves. There is nothing left behind unless you want to run to the bush, and you have to look for the person who will go with you to the bush. Nobody will follow you to the bush again,” he said.

    However, first Vice President Dr Riek Machar maintained that elections would not be held if key prerequisites are not met. He said the prerequisites include screening training and deployment of the necessary unified force; return of the internally displaced persons to their home areas of origin and return of refugees from neighbouring countries.

    South Sudan has been facing another extension of the transition period with key stakeholders expressing doubt on the country’s ability to hold elections in December 2024. Kiir’s stance could resolve the question but not entirely end the dispute.

    Dr Machar further argued that it would be impossible unless the security situation is addressed.

    The transition period was extended in August 2022 by 24 months after the signatories to the 2018 peace agreement, formally known as the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS), realised that the implementation of key ingredients for elections were behind schedule.

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