President Salva Kiir Declares His Candidacy for 2024 Elections, Despite Lengthy Delays

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir addresses a news conference at the State House in Juba, South Sudan March 28, 2022. REUTERS/Jok Solomun/File Photo

JUBA, South Sudan — President Salva Kiir of South Sudan has announced that the country’s long-awaited elections will finally take place in 2024, with him as a candidate on the ballot.

Kiir, who has been at the helm of South Sudan since its independence from Sudan in 2011, received the endorsement of the ruling party during a stadium event held on Tuesday in Bahr el Ghazal.

Addressing tens of thousands of supporters at Wau Stadium, Kiir expressed his gratitude for the endorsement and the continued support from his party. He stated, “I am deeply touched by your endorsement and your unwavering support to our historic party.”

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It is anticipated that Kiir will be facing his longstanding rival, First Vice President Riek Machar, in the upcoming elections. However, Machar has yet to confirm his candidacy.

The opposition has criticized the government, accusing it of lacking the political will to conduct elections. In response, Kiir emphasized his commitment to ensuring that the elections are free and fair.

These elections will mark a significant milestone for the country, being the first since the signing of the peace agreement nearly five years ago. The agreement aimed to bring an end to the conflict that claimed the lives of approximately 400,000 people.

Although major confrontations have subsided, pockets of violence continue to persist in certain regions of the country. According to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, last year alone, 2,240 people lost their lives due to ongoing conflicts.

The upcoming elections hold great significance for South Sudan, as they represent a crucial step towards consolidating peace and democratic governance in the young nation.

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