Opposition leader from various political parties in South Sudanese have warned against any attempt to conduct unilateral and partial elections in the country before the ongoing conflict is comprehensively and peacefully settled.
“Any attempt to carry out partial elections is a recipe for the escalation of war as the other warring party will try its best to interrupt the elections while the government mobilises its resources to see the process through,” the parties said in statement extended to Sudan Tribune.
“Our experiences of partial elections in Sudan are still fresh in our minds and were not by any standard pleasant. We should not repeat obvious mistakes”; it added.
The document, acknowledged by 13 member political party leaders, stressed that Constitution, the National Elections Act and its regulations were the legal framework required by the National Elections Commission to conduct electoral processes.
“We are not yet in possession of such a document and would like the Commission to enlighten us as to how it can embark on the election Calendar when such an important reference document is missing. For the sake of transparency and openness, the Regulations should be made available to the general public,” argued the party leaders.
They also questioned how the elections could be conducted while the population census, as stipulated in the country’s transitional constitution, was not yet conducted.
Ugandan president warns S. Sudan rebels over power sharing demands
A senior member of South Sudan’s rebel faction said Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni warned the group against demanding for a power-sharing agreement.
Museveni reportedly made the comments at a recent meeting with the SPLM in Opposition’s deputy chairman, Ladu Gore in Kampala, Uganda.
In a post on Facebook last week, the rebel faction’s head of diplomatic relation and information committee, Mabior Garang de Mabior, described the meeting as successful. He did elaborate further.
But a source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, claimed Museveni urged rebels to abandon their demands for executive powers to be granted to a prime minister and the removal of current vice president James Wani Igga.
According to the source, the Ugandan leader told the rebel delegations that creation of power-sharing arrangements with an elected government represented a “redline”.
The source confirmed to Sudan Tribune that the Uganda government had released funding for an ongoing conference in Unity state’s Fangak area to brief senior rebel commanders on a recent power-sharing proposal by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which is mediating peace talks.
Museveni has been accused by anti-government forces of meddling in South Sudan’s affairs after it intervened militarily in the current conflict.
The Uganda People Defence Force (UPDF) has been fighting alongside South Sudan army (SPLA) to curb the country’s rebellion led by former vice-president Riek Machar.
Uganda initially claimed to be evacuating its citizens inside South Sudan, but later conceded it was providing support to government forces at the request of president Salva Kiir.
The U.S. on Wednesday warned South Sudan’s foreign minister that United Nations sanctions could be the punishment for people who stand in the way of that country achieving peace after a year of conflict.
At a meeting between Barnaba Benjamin and U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, a deputy ambassador, David Pressman, emphasized that the U.S. is working on a Security Council draft resolution that would authorize sanctions against individuals who threaten South Sudan’s peace and security, a U.S. official said.
The resolution is meant to pressure President Salva Kiir and former vice president Riek Machar to reach a peace agreement after multiple cease-fires have failed. Fighting between their supporters has killed thousands in the oil-rich East African country, and 1.9 million have fled. About 100,000 people remain camped at nine U.N. peacekeeping bases across the country in an effort to escape the violence.
The U.S. official spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was private.
The U.S. has mentioned the draft resolution in the past, but a face-to-face warning among senior diplomats carries more weight.
A call and email to South Sudan’s mission to the U.N. were not immediately answered Wednesday evening.