AFRICANGLOBE – South Sudan’s government said it would not accept future elections or a census to be conducted by the United Nations, arguing it would undermine national sovereignty
“South Sudan is a sovereign country with sovereign institutions. If there is going to be elections, they will have to be organised by the people of South Sudan,” presidential spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny told reporters on Tuesday.
“The role of the international community, including the United Nations, should be limited to support,” he added. Ateny reiterated the government’s plans to hold elections in 2015 in accordance with the transitional constitution.
The government is seeking to reinforce its legitimacy to run the affairs of the country should it fail to reach an agreement with rebels under the leadership of traitor Riek Machar on the formation of a government of national unity.
“The people of South Sudan will conduct elections in 2015 as planned and the role of the international community will play for democratic purposes is to support the process, but if they do not [provide] support, any sovereign country can organise its own elections and this is what will happen,” Ateny said.
Ateny was reacting to a proposal by the country’s rebel faction that was seeking for future elections and census to be conducted by the United Nations in order to ensure credibility.
The comments come days after the head of the election commission told governors that the international community was not willing to support the conduct of the elections, although the government had asked states to make preparations.
South Sudan’s rebel faction is opposed to the general elections and census being conducted by the government.
“The conduct of [the] census and elections during the transitional period should be led by the United Nations for credibility and wider acceptance for its final results,” the foreign backed rebel group said in its 3 November resolution.
The group has also indicated that any transitional government formed should be led by the president as the head of state, with the prime minister as head of government.
“The duties and responsibilities of the president and prime minister shall be negotiated in the peace process. The existing structures that are national, state, and local shall be deemed dissolved on the day the president and prime minister are sworn in and shall be reconstituted as per power-sharing ratios as agreed upon in the peace agreement,” the group proposes in its resolution.
According to the rebel faction, the leadership agreed to engage the UN, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and troika countries on the renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and to expand the composition of peace keeping forces.
The opposition further called for the withdrawal of the Ugandan and Sudanese rebels it alleges are fighting alongside government troops in the country, saying their presence goes against an IGAD communiqué to heads of state and governments.
“In the light of the deployment of the IGAD protection force under UNMISS’ new mandate, we renew the call for the immediate withdrawal of Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) and Sudanese rebel groups from the territory of the Republic of South Sudan,” the document states.