South Sudan faces a crucial juncture as it appeals to the international community and regional partners for urgent financial support to ensure the success of its general election scheduled for later this year.
Minister of Cabinet Affairs Martin Elia Lomuro, speaking in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, underscored the inadequacy of the government’s budget allocations for the electoral and constitutional processes, emphasizing the need for substantial international contributions, especially amid the current economic crisis in the country.
Lomuro detailed the financial requirements, indicating that $40 million is necessary for drafting a new constitution. However, the government’s proposed supplementary budget only covers 63 percent of this amount.
Additionally, the estimated funds for facilitating the electoral process stand at $228.1 million, with the government allocating a supplementary budget covering a mere 15 percent of the total required funds. The challenges extend to various costs, including security measures essential for a smooth electoral process.
The appeal comes as South Sudan navigates a complex political landscape. The country descended into a devastating civil war shortly after gaining independence in 2011, stemming from a political dispute between President Salva Kiir and his then-deputy, Riek Machar.
The conflict resulted in approximately 400,000 casualties, according to UN estimates. In 2018, Kiir, Machar, and other political leaders signed a peace agreement, marking the end of the war.
As the country approaches the end of its transitional period, the general election slated for December 2024 holds immense significance. It represents a critical step in South Sudan’s journey toward stability, democratic governance, and a post-conflict era.
The appeal for international financial support reflects the challenges faced by a nation striving to rebuild and establish a foundation for sustainable political processes.
Beyond South Sudan, the financial constraints and complexities associated with organizing elections are not unique to the region.
Several African nations encounter similar challenges as they navigate the intricate process of conducting elections in the aftermath of conflicts or during periods of economic strain.
The international community often plays a vital role in providing financial assistance and support for these electoral processes, recognizing the importance of fostering stability, democracy, and good governance.
In this context, South Sudan’s appeal resonates with broader regional and international efforts to support nations in their democratic transitions.
The success of the upcoming general election will not only impact the trajectory of South Sudan but also contribute to shaping the future of democratic governance in the broader African context.
As the nation grapples with the financial intricacies of conducting a comprehensive electoral process, the collaboration and support of the international community remain pivotal for realizing the aspirations of a stable and democratic South Sudan.