Salva Kiir: Preparation for Election As Peace Talks Continue in Addis Ababa
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir early this week announced plans for holding the country’s 2015 elections despite escalation of political unrest in the country.
January 23, 2014 [Juba] — Kiir, confidently speaking to the press at the Presidential press room in Juba, said that the electoral process will be held as constitutionally provided for.
“Once peace is brought back to our country, we will start the preparation for the elections 2015 and that begins with conduct of the national census,” Kiir said, emphasizing “this thing will have to be done before time comes.”
He expressed optimism on return of peace despite the critical political crisis.. “I am very optimistic for peaceful settlement of our crisis,” he said.
Constitutionally, South Sudan is set to have a national census to carry out this year and conduct its first national elections next year.
South Sudan mid-last month witnessed one of its worst political crises when gunshots erupted in several military barracks in the national capital Juba. The Government quickly accused ex Vice President Dr. Riek Machar and several other politicians of staging a coup.
The shooting later escalated to other parts of the country with several other government soldiers defecting to the Machar loyalists group.
The United Nations so far reports that over 1,000 people have been killed with close to 500,000 more displaced following the outbreak of the violence more than a month ago.
Greater towns in the Upper Nile region; Bor, Bentiu and Malakal have been razed to ground by the armed conflict.