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UN, US pressure South Sudan over elections

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The United Nations on Wednesday warned South Sudan’s leaders that the nation’s fragile peace process was under serious threat due to slow progress, calling for “fresh urgency” to revive negotiations.

The United Nations and United States urged the leaders of South Sudan to do more to prepare for elections due to be held in less than a year or risk “catastrophe.”

“As I have stated before, elections have the potential to be a nation-building moment, or a catastrophe,” the UN envoy for South Sudan, Nicholas Haysom, told the Security Council.

“Much depends on the political will and leadership of the South Sudanese working together,” he said.

The US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, according to France24 said that in order to “work toward a true democracy,” the South Sudanese government needed to move swiftly to implement the provisions set out in an agreement on revitalizing the peace process.

“That means an inclusive constitution drafting process, public financial management reform, transitional security arrangements, and transitional justice mechanisms” she said.

“Unfortunately, the government of South Sudan is behind in meeting key electoral benchmarks” set out in the agreement, she added.

With a Security Council decision expected on March 15 on renewing the peacekeeping mission in South Sudan for a year — one of the most expensive on the UN’s books, with an annual budget exceeding $1 billion — Haysom pleaded for the deployment to remain at current levels of 17,000 troops and 2,100 police.

“We anticipate a mandate flexible enough to support the conduct of free and fair elections, upon the request of the government,” he said.

With less than a year until elections, South Sudan, which has been independent since only 2011, risks plunging back into war, the UN warned in February.

The youngest country in the world, it has experienced chronic instability since its independence from Sudan.

Between 2013 and 2018, it descended into a bloody civil war between sworn enemies Riek Machar and Salva Kiir, which left nearly 400,000 dead and millions displaced.

A peace deal signed in 2018 led to power-sharing in a national unity government sworn in February 2020, with Kiir as president and Machar as vice-president.

But the provisions of the peace agreement remain largely unimplemented, due mainly to persistent disputes between the two rivals.

Politics

Nigeria: Senate President wants police rid of bad officers 

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Nigeria’s Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, has asked the police to get rid of bad officers. He also promised that the National Assembly would work with and back the police to make Nigeria safer.

Akpabio said this at the first Nigeria Police Awards and Commendations Ceremony, which took place in Abuja on Monday night. The Senate President commended the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, and the rest of the Nigeria Police leadership for putting together the event. He also told them to use it to celebrate the force’s accomplishments and reaffirm their promise to work together to make Nigeria safer.

He stated,  “I commend the Police for this maiden effort in organising this awards ceremony. It is a testament to IGP Egbetokun’s commitment to giving honour to whom it is due.

“By recognising the gallant, selfless and patriotic contributions of individual officers, we not only motivate them for higher performance but also reinforce the new policing agenda of the Force.

“This agenda focuses on internal ethical regeneration, restoration of professional standards and the enhancement of the anti-corruption drive.

“However, let us not ignore the challenges faced by the police in Nigeria. The ever-evolving landscape of crime and the increasing sophistication of criminal gangs pose significant obstacles. “

“Moreso, as we honour the good officers, let us weed out the bad ones because a chain is as strong as its weakest link. We must address these issues and work together to find solutions, he emphasised.

In front of Vice President Kashim Shettima and other important people, Akpabio said, “As the leader of the National Assembly, I pledge our full cooperation and support for better cops in Nigeria.”

“We recognise the importance of a well-equipped and motivated police force in ensuring the security and well-being of our citizens.

“We will continue to work tirelessly to provide the necessary legislative framework and resources to enable the police to carry out their duties effectively.”

Statista data shows that most Nigerians did not trust the cops at all in 2020. In cities, where six out of ten people who answered the survey said they didn’t believe the police, this lack of trust was higher. Also, 19% of the people interviewed in Nigeria’s cities and 26.8% of those interviewed in the country’s rural areas said they merely trusted the police.

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Chad: Interim President Deby begins campaign ahead of election

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With a promise to improve security and the economy, Mahamat Idriss Deby, Chad’s temporary president, started his campaign for president on Monday.

 

The election is set for next month and will end three years of military rule. Concerns of a democracy backslide have been raised about Deby’s government and others that have taken power in West and Central Africa since 2020.

 

Chad is one of the countries in Central and West Africa that is run by the military. There is still a push from both inside and outside of Africa for the country to switch to a democratic government.

 

Mahamat’s father had been in charge for a long time and was killed in rebel fighting in 2021. At first, Deby promised that polls would happen in 18 months. Later, however, his government passed measures that let him run for president and pushed the election date to 2024.

 

 

Some countries in the region and around the world have been pressuring Chad to quickly hand power back to people, but the country has been the first to hold elections.

 

 

“Today we are at the final turn on the road to constitutional return,” Deby told a large crowd gathered in scorching weather at the high-security event in Chad’s capital N’Djamena.

 

 

“You know me, I am a soldier and I hold my promises,” he said, barely visible behind a barrier of bodyguards crowding the podium.

“We will strengthen internal security to guarantee peace and stability in our country,” he said.

 

 

 

Deby made it official that he was going to run at the beginning of March. The news came a few days after Yaya Dillo, an opposition politician, was killed in a gunfight with security forces. This caused worries about the safety of the upcoming election.

 

Since then, forensic experts have said that Dillo was most likely shot from close range. Among the nine other candidates for president is Succes Masra, who was recently named Prime Minister of Chad and is a strong opponent of the junta.

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