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Rome peace talks to resume with holdout groups

Author: Charles Wote | Published: Tuesday, November 30, 2021

South Sudan's Presidential Advisor, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin [Left] shakes hand with SSOMA's Pagan Amum as Paolo Impagliazzo, Sant’Egidio secretary-general looks on in December 2020 - Courtesy

President Salva Kiir has announced resumption of the Rome peace talks with the holdout groups.

This comes nearly three months after he indefinitely suspended the peace process following August 16 – attack along Juba-Nimule highway which claimed lives of two catholic nuns.

Kiir had blamed the holdout groups – particularly NAS, saying it violated the cessation of hostilities agreement it signed with the government early last year.

“Many voices have been appealing to us to reconsider our position and give an inclusive peace a chance. Yes because of this, the holy father Pope Francis has been continuing praying for South Sudan and has been appealing to me to let the peace talk resume,” Kiir said during the 5th Governors’ Forum in Juba.

“I am today asking the community of Saint-Egidio to begin the preparation for the resumption of Rome peace talks with holdout groups without any preconditions.”

The Saint-Egidio-led mediation is aimed at supporting an inclusive peace agreement in South Sudan by persuading the hold-out group to join the revitalized peace deal signed in September 2018.

In January last year, the government and SSOMA signed the Rome Declaration to cease hostilities.

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