5th June 2023
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IGAD, Troika held meetings with SSOMA group

Author: Alhadi Hawari | Published: Friday, October 14, 2022

IGAD and TROIKA meetings with leaders of the SSOMA coalition. (Photo: Courtesy).

Diplomats from three western countries and IGAD have concluded five-day meetings with leaders of the holdout groups ahead of next month’s negotiation in Rome, Italy. 

The Troika ambassadors in the meeting are the US, Norway and the UK.

Garang Malual Deng, the spokesperson of the South Sudan Opposition Movement Alliance, (SSOMA), said the meetings brought together General Paul Malong Awan, the leader of South Sudan United Front, Pagan Amum of the Real SPLM, and Thomas Cirilo of the National Salvation Front.

It is not clear if General Cirilo, who had previously boycotted the Rome talks, has agreed or not, to return to negotiating table.

Malual told Eye Radio that the meeting aims to prepare three opposition leaders for peace talks with the government next month.

“The purpose of this meeting it’s for the next round of talks between SSOMA and the government, the mediators are determined this time to bring comprehensive peace in South Sudan,” he said.

“This time, other opposition leaders like Thomas Cirilo might join the talks, for the clarification also there’s no delegation from Juba.”

Cirillo, who heads the National Salvation Front pulled out of talks last year, accusing Juba of lack of political will to address the root causes of the conflict.

The government also accuses his troops of having orchestrated several deadly ambushes in major highways, which they have rubbished.

The peace process also stalled in August last year, after President Kiir suspended the process, accusing NAS of an attack which killed two catholic nuns along the Nimule-Juba Highway.

At the recent graduation of the unified forces in Juba, President Salva Kiir called on the hold groups to join the peace process.

He said his government was ready to work with the groups to end the conflict.


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