The US Ambassador to South Sudan, Michael Adler, said South Sudanese leaders share a collective responsibility in bringing the transitional period to a successful and peaceful conclusion.
Adler, who was addressing the media during the International Day of Peace celebration at Nyakuron Cultural Centre on Thursday, said the leaders should take action to find solutions to the promises they had made to their people.
“It requires leaders who take action to find common ground and deliver on promises they have made, including their sacred promises to the South Sudanese people,” Amb. Adler said.
The envoy said the culture of peace does not flourish in an environment where political leaders shun each other for the inaction of their responsibility.
However, he said as the South Sudanese people hope for the upcoming elections, it is their right to expect a free and fair election.
“All the South Sudanese people are looking at the year to come, they have the right to expect a free, fair, and peaceful election,” he stated.
“This can only take place if the transitional government meets its responsibility to achieve the essential peace commitments for such an election to be possible.”
Adler added that one of the inviolable things for the coming election should be political and civic space to ensure freedom of expression for all the political parties in the country.
“One non-negotiable element for an election must be political and civic space to allow freedom of expression for all the South Sudanese political parties, candidates, and citizens,” the diplomat stated.
“The responsibility to establish this space rests with the transitional government. Relevant legislation necessary to establish this political and civic space must be passed and implemented,” he said.
According to him, the United States and the TROIKA partners are seriously committed to the triumph of the South Sudanese people.
“The United States and our TROIKA partners have a longstanding commitment to the success of the South Sudanese people in achieving a future of peace, democracy, and prosperity,” Adler stressed.
The SPLM-IG and SPLM-IO have recently differed openly on the modalities of conducting the elections. The ruling party has held to the stand that some of the pending chapters like repatriation of refugees can be done after the election, an argument that the main opposition party has rubbished. South Sudan is to hold the elections in December 2024 as per the Roadmap signed to extend the term of the revitalised transitional government of national unity.