21st May 2024
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SSOMA boycotts Rome talks over Gen. Abraham’s killing

Author: Jale Richard | Published: Saturday, May 8, 2021

File: Government representative, Dr. Barnaba Marial and NAS' General Thomas Cirillo Swaka at Saint Egidio headquarters in Rome in 2020. | Credit |AFP or licensors)

The South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance says it will boycott the next round of talks with the government in Rome.

The talks between the government and the opposition movements Alliance was scheduled for between May 8 and May 12 in the Italian capital Rome.

But in a press statement on Thursday, SSOMA said it will not participate in the talks in protest of the killing of General Abraham Wani in Kampala last month.

“SSOMA’s suspension of participation in the talks is because of the cowardly act of assassination of its senior military member General Abraham Wani Yoane, the chief of staff of SSNMC/A who was killed on the 22nd April 2021 in Kampala, Uganda,” the press statement said.

The Daily Monitor reported late last month that the South Sudanese general had survived three assassination attempts on his life before unidentified people beat him at his home and he later died in a hospital.

Gen. Abraham Wani was a key figure during the second liberation struggle that culminated in the independence of South Sudan in 2011.

He then became an adviser to the governor of Central Equatoria State during Clement Wani Konga’s tenure.

In 2015, he was appointed Deputy Governor for Yei River State following the creation of the 32 states.

However, in August 2016, Gen. Abraham defected to the main opposition faction, the SPLM-IO led by Dr. Riek Machar accusing the government of gross human rights violations in areas around Central Equatoria State.

He later abandoned SPLM-IO and joined the South Sudan National Movement for Change which is part of the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA).

SSOMA is a coalition of opposition groups led by notable generals Thomas Cirillo, Paul Malong, Pagan Amum, and other leaders engaged in peace talks with the government of South Sudan.

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

The political dialogue seeks to address what the opposition groups called “the root causes of the conflict in South Sudan” and facilitate further reconciliation and stability.

In January 2020, the parties signed a declaration in Rome to observe the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and further negotiations on root causes of political violence in South Sudan.

But little progress has since been made.

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