Civil and military leaders trained on importance of respecting human rights ahead of elections

Peace South Sudan UNMISS UN peacekeeping peacekeepers development elections constitution electoral training human rights

In Upper Nile State, some 40 members of the electoral commission, law enforcement groups, and defense forces received two days of training on upholding human rights during the electoral process. Photo by Samson Liberty/UNMISS.

4 Jul 2024

Civil and military leaders trained on importance of respecting human rights ahead of elections

Samson Liberty

UPPER NILE - Preparations are crucial for South Sudan's upcoming general elections, which are less than six months away. The UN family, including the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), plays a key role during this crucial political phase.

In line with its mandate, the peacekeeping mission recently organized a two-day workshop for 40 representatives from the Upper Nile State’s Electoral Commission, law enforcement agency, and defense forces.

Ajak Hassen Malual, a member of the Electoral Commission, emphasized the particular importance of respecting human rights during the process leading up to the expected democratic exercise of voting.

“The upcoming elections will be crucial to maintain stability in Upper Nile communities. Being prepared is essential to create a conducive atmosphere where citizens can freely exercise their right to vote without any fear of intimidation or reprisals,” he said.

The training covered various subjects, including the legal frameworks governing polling in the country and the role of military forces and civil society organizations in creating awareness about these processes at the grassroots level.

The United Nations is committed to supporting local authorities in creating a favorable environment for conducting free, fair, and credible elections in South Sudan, as they are one of the cornerstones of democracy.

“Active engagement and participation can contribute significantly to the success of these events, paving the way for durable peace and development in an inclusive society,” said Katrine Gertz Schlundt, a Human Rights Officer serving with UNMISS.

At the conclusion of the event, participants expressed their desire for additional training sessions and the need to ensure the full participation of vulnerable people like women, internally displaced persons, and individuals with disabilities.