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Rome talks resume Monday

Author: Jale Richard | Published: Thursday, March 5, 2020

Leaders of the holdout groups, from left: Gen. Thomas Cirillo, Gen. Paul Malong and Pagan Amum in Rome in January 2020 | Credit | Courtesy

Peace talks will resume on Monday in Rome, between armed opposition groups that have not joined the peace process and the government of South Sudan.

The groups, collectively known as the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance or SSOMA, is a coalition of nine opposition groups formed in August 2019.

Prominent members include former army generals Paul Malong Awan (South Sudan United Front/Army; Thomas Cirillo Swaka, (National Salvation Front); and Pagan Amum (Real SPLM).

Resumption of the talks comes a month after President Salva Kiir granted amnesty to all members of the SSOMA.

In January, the group signed a declaration in Rome with the government to observe the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and further negotiations as part of seeking a political solution to the South Sudan conflict.

In a letter seen by Eye Radio, the secretary-general of the Community of Sant’ Egidio, Dr. Paolo Impagliazzo, invited representatives of government for the talks with SSOMA.

“The Community of Sant’Egidio in the framework of its efforts towards a sustainable peace in South Sudan is honored to invite the representatives of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to participate in a political discussion meeting with a delegation of the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance,” partly reads the letter addressed to the Minister of Presidential Affairs, Ayii Mayiik Deng.

Dr. Impagliazzo says the church’s efforts are geared towards achieving sustainable peace in South Sudan.

The five-day discussion will end on March 13 in Rome. The talks started in November 2019.

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