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Rome talks suspended over coronavirus

Author: Priscah Akol | Published: Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Prison officers stand guard as an ambulance enters SantAnna prison in Modena, inside one of Italy's quarantine red zones, following a disturbance there | Credit | CNN

The Rome peace talks have been moved to Brussels, Belgium, due to the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in the Italian capital.

The peace talks had been scheduled to resume there on Monday, 9 March 2020.

But according to the government chief negotiator, Dr. Barnaba Marial, the session had to be suspended due to upsurge of the Coronavirus there.

“By the end of the week we will know the day the talks should resume,” Dr. Marial told Eye Radio on Monday.

The peace initiative is aimed at striking a deal with the non-signatories to the September 2018 peace accord.

These are factions led by former army generals Thomas Cirilo and Paul Malong and Pagan Amum, the ex-secretary general of the ruling SPLM.

In January, the groups collectively known as the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance or SSOMA, signed a declaration 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.

Italy has been put under a dramatic total lockdown, as the coronavirus spreads in the country.

Ninety-seven people have died of the novel coronavirus since Sunday in Italy, bringing its total number of deaths to 463. The country has 9,172 cases so far, the most of any European country.

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