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Malong, Pagan ready for resumption of talks”, says SSOMA spokesperson

Author: Alhadi Hawari | Published: Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Gen. Paul Malong Awan, leader of South Sudan Untied Front and former SPLA Chief of General Staff - Courtesy

The South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance – SSOMA has said they are ready for the resumption of peace talks mediated by Sant’Egidio.

This is according to the spokesperson of the South Sudan United Front – SSUF who is also the official spokesperson of SSOMA.

Garang Malual Deng Yaak statement came after the presidential advisor of security affairs, Tut Gatluak called on the holdout groups to join the peace process, as the unity government continues with its implementation.

Tut told diplomatic corps in the country early this month that for South Sudan to be fully in lasting peace, all those who did not sign the peace deal, should be part of the current peace process.

The peace process stalled in August 2021 after President Kiir suspended talks after two catholic nuns were killed along the Nimule-Juba Highway.

In December last year, Sant’ Egidio convened a workshop in Nairobi, Kenya with SSOMA on the implementation of the 2019 security arrangements signed by the parties.

The South Sudan United Front, led by Paul Malong and Real SPLM of Pagan Amum attended –but NAS led by General Thomas Cirilo did not.

NAS opposed the venue of the talks in Nairobi.

Early in February, Sant’ Egidio’s Secretary General, Paolo Impagliazzo and Andrea Bartoli, a senior member and other members arrived in Juba.

The delegation met with President Kiir at the Presidential palace, J1.

President Salva Kiir agreed to a request by the Rome-based Sant’ Egidio Community to fix the venue and date for talks with the holdout groups.

President Kiir has expressed readiness to meet the groups anywhere they want.

Garang Malual Deng, the spokesperson of SSOMA told Eye Radio that the Sant’Egidio is delaying the talks, but his movement is ready for the talks.

“I would like to explain that some rumors are going around in our country saying that we are refusing the talks which are not correct,” SSOMA spokesperson told Eye Radio from Nairobi on Tuesday.

“What’s happening is that the Sant’Egidio are always telling us that they will call people for talks with the two parties, SSOMA and the government but they are not calling us.

“After they went to Juba they also talked to our leader. They told him that the talks will resume soon, but up to now they have not informed us when the talks will start.

“There are rumors in-country in some quarters in the government that it’s us who are refusing talks and which is not correct. Sant’Egidio they are yet to call for the resumption of the talks.”

Last year, the coronavirus pandemic affected the implementation of the ceasefire agreement, the inclusion of SSOMA representatives in the CTSAMM-VM, and the political talks.

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