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News > South Sudan

South Sudan to Hold First Elections Since Independence

  • South Sudan President Salva Kiir. Jul. 5, 2023.

    South Sudan President Salva Kiir. Jul. 5, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/@AFRICA24TV

Published 5 July 2023

The world's newest country has spent nearly half of its existence at war. 

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir said Tuesday that long-delayed general elections will be held next year as scheduled and that he will run for president.

Battles Continue in Sudan, Humanitarian Situation Worsens

"We are committed to implementing the chapters of the renewed peace agreement, and elections will be held in 2024," Kiir told members of his Sudan People's Liberation Movement party. 

The country's only president since it gained independence from Sudan in 2011 pledged to resolve existing problems before elections scheduled for December 2024. 

Kiir was referring to difficulties in implementing the peace agreement between Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar that ended the country's protracted civil war. The warring factions agreed in August 2018 to share power by forming a government of national unity.

After a transition period, elections were to be held in February 2023, but the government has so far failed to fulfill key clauses of the agreement, including the drafting of a constitution.

The world's newest country has spent nearly half of its existence at war, with civil war breaking out in 2013 due to political rivalries between Kiir and his former vice president.

The civil war, which lasted five years, resulted in the deaths of nearly 400,000 people before the signing of a peace agreement in 2018. Since then, the country has been suffering from floods, famine, new outbreaks of violence, and political strife. 

The UN special envoy to South Sudan, Nicholas Haysom, warned in March that this year would be critical for the country. He called for credible elections in 2024 to avoid further delays in the implementation of the peace agreement.


Salva Kiir
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