The Norwegian Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan has concluded a three-day visit to Juba, engaging in high-level discussions with government officials, civil society, and representatives of the international community. The visit comes at a critical time as South Sudan prepares to conduct its first-ever democratic elections in December 2024.
The primary focus of the visit was to underscore the urgent need for election preparations, which include South Sudan’s leaders taking steps that ensure political and civic space, politically neutral security forces and the funding and operationalization of necessary election institutions and addressing the ten questions posed in July by the United Nations, African Union and IGAD.
The Special Envoy echoed the statement of SRSG Haysom to the Security Council, in which he identified the period up until April as a critical time frame for preparations necessary to conduct credible elections.
“We trust that the political leaders of South Sudan will increase the frequency of dialogue and decision-making so that a critical mass of the pre-requisites necessary for credible and peaceful election in December, are in place by April”, Johnson said after meeting H.E. President Salva Kiir.
In addition to meetings with government officials, Johnson engaged with various stakeholders, including members of the civil society, political leaders, and members of the international community.
He also touched upon the crisis in Sudan and expressed Norway's commitment to supporting regional efforts aimed at finding a peaceful resolution.
Special Envoy Johnson’s last visit to Juba was in October last year where he emphasized the need for increased momentum in the implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement in South Sudan.