The government should fully fund and operationalize the elections and constitution-making bodies, said Guang Cong, the deputy special representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan and Officer-in-Charge of UNMISS.
"We also called for dialogue amongst all leaders to address pending technical and operational decisions needed for the elections to take place on time," Guang told the plenary meeting of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC), which is monitoring South Sudan peace deal in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.
He underscored the importance of international partners, in particular the regional organizations, working with a shared purpose in the joint efforts to assist South Sudan’s transition.
The envoy commended the progress achieved so far, adding that the timelines set in the roadmap are behind schedule, and with only 12 months left before elections, the options for practical compromises are diminishing, particularly concerning the type and scale of the elections, the constitution-making process and other important pending issues.
South Sudan is supposed to hold elections in December 2024 at the end of the current transitional period.
"We reiterate that military defections threaten and undermine trust between the parties. We also caution against the temptation towards unilateral actions and that the parties should take measures to de-escalate hostilities, using peaceful means to resolve disputes," Guang said of security.
He said with the ongoing conflict in Sudan, the humanitarian situation in South Sudan is expected to deteriorate further in the coming year.
He said that more than 420,000 people had crossed the South Sudan border from Sudan as of Dec. 3.
"We urge the Government of South Sudan to provide much-needed safety and reintegration support to the returnees, refugees, and stateless persons who have sought refuge within its borders," he added.
The UN official noted that addressing the access impediments and supporting conditions for humanitarians to provide aid and services is also critical.