south sudan's salva kiir pledges country's first election

South Sudan’s Salva Kiir pledges country’s first election

Salva Kiir, a South Sudanese politician who has been the President of South Sudan since its independence from Sudan in 2011, has pledged for the country’s first election. 

On Tuesday, South Sudan’s leader Salva Kiir said that elections set for 2024 would go ahead as planned. Kiir also said that he would run for president in the 2024 election.

He told supporters of his governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party, a political party in South Sudan, “I welcome the endorsement to run for presidency in the 2024 election. We are committed to implement the chapters in the revitalized peace agreement as stated and the election will take place in 2024.” He called the 2024 election a “historic event.”

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General elections were scheduled to take place in South Sudan by 2015, the first since independence from Sudan in 2011. Later on , the South Sudan parliament agreed to extend the presidential and parliamentary elections until 2018. The election was postponed again to 2021. Later on, a transitional period of three years was agreed by the political leaders. In 2022, the transitional government and opposition leaders agreed to hold elections in the country by late 2024. 

Following the independence of South Sudan, Salva Kiir was appointed as the president. Riek Machar was appointed as the vice president of South Sudan. 

No other candidate has declared their candidacy for the 2024 elections. However, Riek Machar is expected to run for the presidency.

South Sudan was suffering during a five-year civil war. In 2018, Salva Kiir and Riek Machar signed a peace agreement, ending the war. Later on , the country suffered due to floods, hunger, violence and political strife. 

The United Nations has repeatedly accused South Sudanese leaders of violating human rights and draining public finances in South Sudan. 

Earlier, Nicholas Haysom, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan and Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, had called for “inclusive and credible” elections in 2024.