South Sudan is heading towards its first elections at the end of this year.
The United Nations Mission in the nation and the UN Development Programme recently held an interactive workshop in the capital Juba.
Despite the magnitude of the task ahead, the Chair of South Sudan's electoral Commission believes free, fair, and credible elections can be held.
“Successful elections will come when we are very concerned about civic and political education, in the first place, and then voter registration. If we do [complete] these two issues before June, we will be saved, we will have successful elections,” Abednego Akol Chol sais.
South Sudan became independent in 2011. After a peace deal in 2018 ended a civil war, elections repeatedly postponed.
Darren Nance who leads the UN’s Integrated Electoral Assistance Team, detailed the goal of the three-day exchange with key South Sudanese interlocuters.
“The main focus is to discuss the multitude of challenges to prepare for an election in 10 months’ time. The National Elections Commission, along with other state agencies, namely the Political Parties Council, the National Constitutional Review Committee, the security forces, the Ministry of Justice, and the judiciary, the Ministry of Finance—the government at large—hold the challenge of organizing a national event where you’re asking millions of people to do the same thing at the same time, in 10 months. That would be a challenge anywhere in the world. It will be a challenge for South Sudan as well.”