South Sudan to hold first election since independence

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has said the country’s long-delayed elections will be held next year as planned.

President Kiir said he would run for re-election in the polls, the first since the country gained independence.

According to the BBC, no other candidate has declared their candidacy but First Vice-President Riek Machar is also expected to run.

Mr Kiir has been president since independence in 2011 after a long-running civil war.

But conflict continued even after independence – civil war broke out in 2013 when the president fell out with Mr Machar.

A power-sharing agreement was signed between the warring parties in August 2018 in a bid to bring the five-year civil war to an end.

The mandate of the transitional government, which was due to end in 2022, was extended to allow the leaders to address challenges with the implementation of the peace agreement.

On Tuesday, Mr Kiir said those challenges would be addressed “before the elections” set for December next year.

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